Skip to main content

Full text of "The Argosy"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/| 


1, Tic, 


^ 110 s: €. 524 


t ^j J.. — vJ«. «! \ 


Naidire's Tablet 

A Medicated Soap (tne Team poison) 

tor washing Dogs. 

" Humlesi to Dogs, but Fatal to Fleas." — 

Sold by ChtmtisU. Pirfupun. and at all S lorei. 


I. Dyipepiia, CoDili- 

«u. Arc . and purify 
thff blood thorotic'^T. 
O/alt Clumiititritt 
. ll.lM.,ll.M.,a>i4 


HlgtlMt Amrd, PhlUdalpUt, WK. Oold HaiMl, BrUb. UTT. 

HUbMt Amrd ud onlr ItodAL Pull BzUMUoa.UTS. 

HlgbtM A>*id, Milbrania, lasi. BlghMt Award and onlr HMkL FnnkftM, 1861. 

Ulbwt Avaid ud only Hn&l. A&wMidMD. UO. 

Pni 00 by Sponge uttacbed u Win ud Cork In meh Bottls. No Polkhioc Bnish 
required. Diiaslo ■ fee miaul**. Can be UMd by aoy Lidy wittumt lolliiic bat fioiETs, 

Ttie Satin Polish ii iha most Elegut Aitlcia of tha kind erar prodnead. Ladiai' 
ShoHwhicb tiara become Red and Rouih by wearing ■» lailond to Ihalr O ritual Colour 
■nd Lustre, and will not toil the ikiilawtacn *>el. Tainiilwd Patent Lsilliar la improred by 
it. For Travelling Big*, Tiunki, Kunesi, Cairiagg Tflpa, Ac, It ia oonquiUsl, It will 
not haiden the Leatber nor ciack. It Is not ■ spirit vaiaiih. 


Is the Best in tlie Uaiket, and it can be used wiib nod elTact on Oniameati, Pletorf 
Fraioes, Iron and Fancy Work ranerally a* welt as loi Boon and Shoaa. 

Ktpl by all WSolisait Heiaa ait aU finl-tta$t Bent and Shet StoraaaiClumUtt 
Ml tlu Vailid Kingdom. 


Cools and re&eshes the face, bands and arms of all 
exposed to the hot sun and dust, and eradicates Sun- 
burn, Tan, Freckles, Eczema, Stings of Insects, &c. 
Ask anywhere for Rowlands' Kaiydor. 




Petftetty harmleu; it viay be and 

frBUy at often at detired. 
Guaranteed i^tiiclr free froin say opines or 
noiJBusor uiong ulina Mfdidns ; iu eiltcl i> 
iDirut In relicTing Tnbnn fxnn 

oBiPBa. wmp Aim coLio. 

ftiVf la. UrBoltli al all CJumaU\ sr /r„ ty 
t. EXATna, Clwnilit, St Fud'iJiAdaB. 


)■ BlMched Linsni 
liued I Jifelimc. 
Flax, Iheu Eoodi 

jvdice tor jtmrttU- ObHTve thul the ( 




■-.•Kk - it ■tao] 


PBiiemi pul ffH 10 unytddms in Ihd world. AN 
jmrceU CMTijgB p«id 10 »n» p«Tt of Gml Briuim 
■Ddlrelud. Bsiuc* to■dll[cu;o^^lMl«OIpou- 
DtM* TuabouH, Stntrora Boad, lUNOBBtTSK. 
3%« Prln* <eUI ■»(«•<■* yoH. 


uuferred on SewiDi 
e nrrw HbcUm* ui tkt Bant perfect ud eScEuI in the W 
Frtce* from M lOi. VitB p«T cent, off for Caah. 
inn KUanppU«d on tDa Hire Srilein by (audi PeriDdlcal PiTmi 

T^«H»» nffl««.| 21. QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.G. 
London Officea. I i39;*rb.OENT STREET, W. 

S<aubla. Ory Soap, 

Hot or Cold Wftter 

Paokota. Id. «ad 

Olothu, KniTM, 

Forks, DUhw, 

SaucBpaiu, Qima, 

Doge, Honei, 



LADIBS who indnlge in inch healthful and eihilaraHng cierc'Mi » 
RowiKc. RioiTiG. DaiviMQ, Lawn TENnrs, Ac. will find ihe DBtUIA- 
THISnO OOBSBT invaliiahU, tlie Leather I'lcinji being a sure preveniion 

molt delightfully pliahle ID Ibe figpre durioR the moBl aetivo ot violent 

"akin™!l,"r gener^eM,'MimfoH°irn^'durj£iril;,''(A''wo5 mm/bJ Carul 

Bfimre of ir»rfft7rM ImUationM. Bvrrj Knoinn pair it itamped 
nniheBuski, oBROWN'M PATENT DeRnATnillTIC.'* 

BLACK and a U ColonraTSBT lid. to 15b. ed. 

rron Draper* ami tMiliet' Ontfiltw Utratighont Ute Ktngdaut. 


kili-Ll_ ._ ..._ ,., , _.,„,. 

Circulaiinj Sitinon of [he Bwtr, dlnptli ihs 
■Eony ol P»io. Eiv«] RBSr, SlEER COM- 
PORT. QUIETUDE. It ii ■ pB«i;Xei!0- 
Ubis remedy lor lotsmal and Eitgrnil uie. 

_ . .urfcHyio/, 

ha Ristl ineiponenceJ nruni. Ii lupsrscdei 
ha UM of dangeiaui (Jjircatin and A^yns 



rrthini fai 

' VUaufl, London. E,C. 


prepftrmtion of wondroui eficacy to Pi 
■nd BeauttlyiDK ihe T«(fa, reKuIn^ il- 
declT.Mdrenderini them u White !■/ 

iheimelm. The unpleauni odour c 
caied to the tveath hi Camrrh, Bad T< 

aatiU^c SOZODcI'nT. ^"XcS^oi 
ban a lonR lime. Pri<:«i>.6d. Soldevt 





6 LI V e"r' "we ii' Se l l* 


lemedjreveclcveiiiK] aiid RIMRt 


Dlrecllona fcr Ua. .. 

hall-teacpoon'ul upoo a plan 

—ASTHMA.— Bum 1 

henoiirils. InseTerepaioXTsnuuietheCtlRE 
lalf-hourly. HIMROD'S CURE. MrTin.i;.: 
If Posl Free. *(. jd, JOHN M. RICHARD'S, 
ifi^ HoL born V iaduii, London. E,C. 


•tamp, by- 



ronplriion, llPnton 
ilhrnl BnatF. Ita rlTt 
I, and VrrfrH. It r 
■niriB ■ Freali a»tanirf lo 
. HMni> XMnoltii Bain hat 

(Indaal, Kati 

The XAilNOLIA BALX makn UrMtn hna« 

.„ _.., „ Trtra. Banal 

rrrfiinirn.andMarrsari'rnt to <aii iddrHi 
oa n-relpt af Sa. Sd. Dtyot, I, Saoo Hill 



TBE Krmczric fox 


GOWLAND^s' "lotion. 

trr Dv^BBH. HUT-vlnti V( 

■WASHINQ (at Horns). — Letter 

Ihi opinum el MM Pi 

>f nor. ttfiritajar Wrimtlv! *ad 

■-rtl«j- f1. . . . Wt Jla4 ,r 

Wubinrt Machines, from 
£1 IM . Kn> urriie. tree anil 
UiiUitt. ManjiIeiTromfltl. 

ki n(£ /^ (['^"Vw-'callifo/Bf 





■• Saves Money, COLD 

Labour, Time, Fuel, Jz-Z J^JT— 

.ndT,mp.r. WATER 

A. Soon to IticA and I'oor aUki 

A Ladr *ril« to ihe Qmni, July 141b, i88a :— " I find il mtm tima (dJ 

mWrlAl. utbfl cJothM requirp leu rubbing ADd no boiJIng. t wlih to ncom- 

■Dsnd il lotvtrj bouHwilo. Ill dauiinf pcopsitis* fu aieosd urlhisg [ 

em holMi] 10 Bie. and Itae ecoDDiDf in lime vkI cod is wall wanh wbile." 

Sold Ay Qroemrm and OUnten eaeryur/kerA. 



ifjM wlih to bt w»ll and kttp trail, taka 

WHt eUlOOAL HaODRI Ipwll'r nadlcne Warmi. 



g ^ Cures Neuralgia, Tic, 
^ irf Tootftacfie a 


ri!i!l:-'n»K fuDooi. aod aDrinllsd fills, 
f^RlFT THE BLOOD. «1 oowerfelly. rei sooth- 
MtS"* LIVER end STOMACH, giving TONE. 
^iSSi. "^ VIGOUR to <h«e gresl MAIN- I 

S?" I" "t •Uo»nls incid^nial to FEMALES. 
iStff M.*^ if rBluced to ■ powder, a fine 
SS?*naOdnn. Toihe EmiitMDI.Travellei, I 
L7?*<>P>liliir thCTWill ba fMind laMlusble in | 
" ■■ttfaat in .,.17 climo. 



' audfbiulea 

■ QOlKBAADjiTil 



IHBBguit street, unaoa, w, _ _ y. »»«*■• /t/\H1\ ¥ ITT/\»T 



Qreat Reduction in price to 9d. per lb. 

■\iTESSRS. A. NEWHAM ft CO, .tk noweflerinit 
iVi IhsircElebnilBd FBATHEKBfiDB It Ibe lollow- 

Two PiLLO-ri. 6 (1. 6 ia, by J ft., 

we[gbiD( 6s Ibi U(.M. 


Adt liud bal enlj »f. per lb.. iDcludlnE Fsatbeii 
ID wtaiH Ibocdered) liek. maktoi, pickiag. nrapper, 
udcuTia«auidlouf lUlicm io Ihe Uaiied Kini- 
dom. Superior Bedi. iplendid Fealberi. LinaaTirE. 

I The most uniqtte, nufQl, and elegant 

; Ladies' Companion over offered to oar 
' I readers. It cootaia* the followiDK articles : 
Crochet Hook, Stiletto, and Baiton Hook, 
each with handsome Ivory handle, pair of 

I Steel Scisson, Thimble, Ivory Bodkm. and 

' Needle case. 

The whole of the Eight Articles mentioned 
above are enclosed in either a Crocodile 
Leather or Silk Plush Case, beautifully 
lined and fitted with Scarlet Velvet and 
Silk, and in the Lid is a handsome bevelled 
MilTor. The Tray conlaioiiig the Sciisors. 
&c. can be removed, and beneath is a re- 
ceptacle for Fancy work or Jewel Case ; the 
whole is surmounted with a Nickel Silver 
Plate, on which we will engrave any aainn 
or initials vilkovt any extra ckargi. Price, 
free by Parcels Post, 5*. gd., or 72 Stamps. 

P.O.<Xs to U matipiytbU at G.P.O. tt 

16. Wine Office Coart. Fleet Str eet. E.C. 




H soU at «n txtraardinary Sacrifict, SuitaiAi for Lidy ar GmlUuijii. 
BLADES, post free. 22 Stamps ; 2 ELADES, post free. 
13 Stamps. 

ever berora in the history of the Cutlery trade has such an oITarbeen 
o to iho Btilish public, and only Tor a abort time will it bs continued. 
nectini the Knives, they only require to be seen to enect an imme- 
:e of the whole siock ; and we respectfully as 

s Magai 

i for 

every purchas 


will b 

(bow their friends, feelmi, 

liied and aUonisbed. Tbe blades are ol the finest Steel, and the 

dl« can be had in either White. Black, or Brown, wilb Gen 

!r Plate for Name. 

WstraUd Lists of Sficialilies axi Natnlliit post fm «■ afflitaliai 

>T. SMITH, 15, Wine Office Court, Fleet St., E.C. 



FmalfCbMr$/i*i Powden Prevent Conruklont, 



Far Odta Cattiaf tbeir Teeth, to prcrent Convulsions. 

(ft m an t tm Ca hmr i, Ofimm, Moifkim, er mythimg 
mptriom to a tnder babe.) 

Sou ■ SlMMd BoKes^ at is. i^, mod ss. ^d. (ereat 
unoct»)diMi direetiofls. Seat post-free for 15 stamps. 
Direct 10 Alfiid FRMiniics, West Cowes, I. W. 

Sad FInaliB* B?«rr Mothai*S Book, which con- 
ies fsloMctfiats on FtsoiMC, TtSTRiMO, Wsamimo, 
SiJsnsG. ftc Ask ycnir Chemist for a /ret copy. 






Trb Bsst Rxmidy to Curk all, 


Sold in Boxes, at 11. t^. and 3s.9i., withdirec- 
iJl tioos. Sent post>free for 15 Stamps. Direct to 

I Alfrbd Fbnnimgs, West Cowes, I.W. 
Z! The large$t siee Boxes^ u. 9d. (35 >^am^s. ^o^ 
tl fret), contMH three times the quantity 0/ the smail 
Z boxes. 

Q Read FOnnlsgl' BYOlTbodri Dootor. Sent 
- post-free, 13 stamps. Direct A. Fshrimgs, West 
Cowes, I.W. 

^te mrd. Dirwrt te ALVRBD FRHNIN GS. tVest C«W(f , /. W 



AMTi-DysFBmc Cocoa, or Chocolatr Powobr. 


Cootfstisf tolelj of the Finest Cocoa Beans with the exceu of Fat extracted. Mad« 
lattantaneodsly wltn boiling water. Keeps in all Climates. Palatable without Millc. 

Thb Faculty pronomice it '*the most nutritions, perfectly digestible Beverage for 
Brbarrast, Lumchrom, or Supprr, and invaluable for Invalids and Children." 

Four times the strength of preparations thickened yet weakened with arrowroot, 
starcbv Ac, and in reality cheaper than snch mixtures. 

A teaapoonful to a Breakfast cup, costing less thtn a Halfpenny. 
N. *^**i mieaL Cocoatira a Ul Vanillr is the most delicate, digestible, cheapMt Vanilla Chocolate* 
1^^^ v7^ ""^^ "^^ ^ taken when richer Chocolate is prohibited. 

' W.a g^^ 1^^ ^1 Q],0Q|},|g 2nd Grocers, in air-tight tins, at u. 6d., 3s., js. Cif.. fte. 




Forwu a eiosf Invigorating, Vitalising and Refreshing Beverage^ 

Gives instant relief in Hbadachb, Sba or Bilious Sicrnbss, Indigbstiom, CoRSTirATion, 

Lassitudr, Hrartburr, and Fbvbrish Colds, and prevents and quickly relieves or cures 

the worst form of Typhus, Scarlrt, Jumolr, and other Frvbrs, Pbicbly Hbat, Smallpox, 

Mbaslbr, Eruptivrot Srir CoiiPLAiRTs,and various tether Altered Conditions of the Blood. 

in besrinf ny oonllal tssdmoey to Its cff cacy la the treat* 
meat of nuuijr of the oidinary And chronic fonns of Uatcric 
CoBpUiniB. and other fotiM of Febrile Dyftpeptia." 
Um. J. W. OOWinia :-^ I med it In the treatment of forty- 
«- _ ^-,— ^ .«^».w^ two CMOS of Yellow Fcrcr. and X an happy to aiate X aereff 

n. OAnKCorenmenf Medicil Xmpector ef Ealgnatt loet a saacle can." 
(mtkelMef Lewloa) wrfces:-''! hate gMSt pleaaaie 

A sjRestttle coarse j>revents and cures obstinate Costiveness. Notice mv Name and Trade Mark, 
la Intent Glass stoppered Bottles, 2i. 6d., 4s. 6d., 111., and 21i. each. 

H. LAMFLOUOH, Consulting Chemisti 113, Holbom, London, E.G. 

It tealaiMB the blood with Ita lest uSae 

>K- fBiUT:-"|fti«ad It act as s apcdftc, la aiy «■- 
^fncemd barily.ln the wont tea of Scarlet Fever. me 




l^ of nvpsas goDiiHB and iron tonio. 

Jowea, y dosw, > SotS by diamists everywhere. 





lytJMR. Plasplce, BI«iclico, 

ttrdy lisde away. 

Jf^^Hullyfcijrsnt. Perfectly bamless. Cures 
!ru!^??S S^ Dtsaaaes. It removes every spot 
*yii|,sn<fiRderi the skin dear and heahhy. 

^^MkttLMiaiiRWldbyChemisU. Bottfes,lLM. 



A fluid LivRR Mbdicirb, made from 
flood fer Uvsr XMsardar aad Xadlgeatloa. 

Without a Krttale of Mercury, 
iafott and saroil Btosiach aad Xitvo^ Kedldaa. 
CBoan the Hsad and Owes B s a daeho. 
Bafwlates tha Bowels. 

Bottles, IS doses. Sold by Chemists. Decline imita- 
tions ; many pn»fessing their own to equal Pepper's. 

LoGEYER's Sulphur 
Hair Restorer. 


Rceloree tlie C^l^mr to Grey Ilnir* 

Iiuiantly atopa tb« Uair from Fndlna. 

Occmaionally used, Ureyncaa la Impoaalblc. 

Where the Sulphur Restorer is applied scurf can- 
not exist, and a sense of cleanliness, coolness, &c. 
prevails. Large Bottles, If. 6d. Sold everywhere* 



AUiefolBoi, eooUinlBii large »nd vu iad uiortineBi of ihe following dalicioDi Sweolmeal*. vii. ;- 

■Hna Apda Onuu. LanoB Onugi. fltTKWbanr OcutDU, TlototU Otmjiu, Abloui Otauo*, Oiiuu 

i.naOlE OBmuit LOwagH. MMUMdh, Pnuaa. Hlghlatia OnuatTM, &c., ill piicksd scpaiaul 

._.l»d DSIt wsigblimr 12 ouncn. cairian puid (dt ll. Id. 

TtuH Small ire UHull]r reullad In London 11 s\d , ad. and jif. per onaiz. CouDtr]; castomen will, i 

lit meuu. b* enablad 10 obliiin ■ dalicioui uHilmeni od lecmi loner tfain Londoa mideDta. All guani 

■erivt, in addition (0 >*i abovi, a handtami Pmttit. This efftr ii bgiiijidi. 

TYLUR ft CO., 102, Plnstaniy Park Road. London. N. 



Renden Ihi SKIN daliulctr SOFT, SMOOTH, and Wom. li ia Ihe moal pnfsct BnolUenI H: 
lltt SKIK ever producdd, and KU LASI irho valuaaber CuinpleiiOD abould snr be oilhout it. All IE] 
nOK from the Uilea 01 Stiaga of Inwcla i> alao alUyad bj' iti uia. 

Bottlea, ll. and, of a)] Cbemiiti. Free for U. eilra, br Iba Sole Uakera. 

IS. BEBTHAU A SON, Chemists, Cheltenham. 


JULY, 1885. 


I. The Mystery of Allan Grale. With an lUusira- 
turn hy M. Ellen Edwards. 
Chapter XXIV. Waste of Time. 

XXV. At Work at Mrs. Grale's. 
XXVI. Shopping. 
„ XXVII. Sam Towne's Tale. 

11. A Story of the Day. By Mary Doveton Hodges. 

III. Remembrance. By G. B. Stuart. 

IV. On the Supernatural. 

V. Christobel. By Joyce Darrell. 

VI. The Devil in Dunchester. 

VII. A Modern Fatima. 

VIII. Cape Horn. By T. S. Cunningham. 

All Maonscripts and Communications must be addressed to the Sub'Editcr of 
The Argosy, 8, New Burlington Strut, W, From the large number of Articles 
received, it is impossible to return them unless accompanied by stamps. The 
Pobliahers cannot be responsible for articles accidentally lost. 


RICHARD BENTLEY & SON, 8, New Burlington Street^ 
Publishers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, 



"This is not thy Home." — Chaucer. 
" Life is the Problem ; death the Solu tion."— Victor Hugo. 


bir ons onr tin iratom, I Wfaso nuo itl^ftalonetomDnl 

, fiom friend ii uulchsd (biloin ; | Til NituiB-i kindetl boon to d 


implaH in ill ll*itini,it.oalbswhalsdB[nbl«,tiiit enremElri^ 
obsarrucs ol (ha limple liwi of Naturs will redeem tbc obKn 

cm Duougii nfeilleDilj. gmtir!^d*HreDerT to iu bu oS lermioit 
1> llili Death ? Dreaded thiiif, 

a Green oTd kge—l use END'S FRUIT SAI 

■oliclted Tulimonal from a KemlBmau, aa P.S.H., who ii now ib 
n of age, laji:— "1 bare foe a lon^ (im* niod EKO'S FKIHT S4 
ind il ul aSiKtiv* yet leBIle apeneat, lerr beneficial to peison 
habiu, eipeciillT luch ai eieiniis not the limbi but tbe braia, 
require to as^it oatutv witbout buardoiu farce. It acta, accort 

lufl drinV ; and t am coDYLoced tbat ft does not weaken. irbllD it atitnulam." 

PHYBICAIi AND MENTAL TOIL.—" I am working from between ilx uid seTeii in 
momini until ten and elereo, and *nr aftm Iwelv* a'cloek at niifai Ibe year lound. and nn a Sua 
Dotninit I wake up ■> aiflalalitlleafIeriiio'clKk,bu(Ianiilad thatitiiadarof r«t. My bead ferlsli 
■nd beaTj. 1 take two tcaapoonfula of joue Fruit Bait about balf an bour before breaJtfaai, and after bn 
(aal it baa removed tbe load fima mj'-lie^'ud I feel 'like a fiant ribeihed with wine,' For lonie fM 

Toit.^arcb, iSSj. Mr. ]. C. Ekd." 

HSADAOHE AlfD DISORDXBBD STOUAOH.—" After sufTering for nearlr two) 
a balf TBari from Kfere beadacbe and ditoidcied iUmacb and after IrjinK alniact everitbinf i 
■pendini mscb moocT, wiibout Gudini anj benefit, I w« recamnieadedbj'afcieail la IrT Toar FRUIT U 
and before I bad fioiataed one bollle lliHind it daiDK me a great deal of koh). and now I am leiioted lo 

Inilr. RoBiHT KuHmiETB. Poet 09ee, Barratford." 

SUDDEN EKBRGENCT.— Feverish cold, with hl?h tempflratare andqalck pnli 
You can control the trtokllng stream but not the ragln? torreot. 

^ " Wabave for the lul four jem need jour FBDIT BALTdurinKHvenlimponant Sumjr Eipedili 
In Iba Hal*]' Penlniala. Siam. and Cambodia, and have undoubtedly derived verj' great benetil from it. 
oneinalance ddIt wat one of ourpattj atlackol with Fever daHog (bat period, and that happened after i 
lupply ofFSnit SALT had run oi(. Wben making long marchei under tbe powerful rayi of ■ vertical ■ 
or travelhni ibrDuib iwampy diitricla. we have used the FRUIT SALT two and Ibree limei a day, 1 
FRUIT SALT acu » ■ gentle aperient. keep> the blood cool and healthy, and wardi off fever. We In 

K into tbeiungle wilhajl it, and bave alio recommendedit tootbetl— Youn truly. Commander /j. Ldft 
ia Siameie Hateiiy'i Kydiographer; E, C. DAVinsDl<,Superinlsndent Siamete Covernmenl Telegia; 
Bangkok, Siam. May, iSBj.— J- C. f^KO, Eiq., London. 

rpHE SSORET OF BUOCBBS,— '; A new inventioD In broogbt beToro the public, and H 
lnco™^a(*h(^riR|nalc1«elyen^u^To'de«r*e*h^^ yel^iiot"H eiacll/ai tol'<?fhnKe upan'le 

profit."- Ada u I. 


Prepareiion l7atEHO'BrBmT aALTWOBK8.Hatoham.Loi]don , a.E..byEno'»Patei 

Samples and Illuitrattd Prite LUli Pott Fru. 

CAMBRIC sg--:rri 

POCKET ^^;^I:ri 



Tlie Substitute for Castor Oi 1 

CbUdran tak« It leadUy. 
Chlldiea do not lUApoot iti propertlai 
Childran like Its sweet, strong flftvoui 
Oertalm— Uild-BSoBGioiu -Agreeable 

^ A fint^ilasa Ap:rienl for every family. Dms n 
" 1 oe i^amoTioi oi AonmHit ana ^^icaver nave a ■ " _ . j 

world-wide iame."-c»«n. | MANHACAKE.'TheChUdPen'sFTlend 

fly Atpoiolmmls (o llu Qum iioif Crma ^'nricfii i Atk /or Mikna Ctm, prict Hd.^ffCa**. •>' U- ' 
«/ Girmany. pir di>il«. if n-> Chimiit. wko ca» U^y g'l J^'^/« 

ROBINSON ft OLXATER, Belfut. | "a'n. Till jour Cii^ittiat 

*' Laden with Golden Grain." 






July to December^ 1885. 


AU fights reserved. 




f . 



H I 

Thb Mystery of Azxan Grale. By Isabella Fyvib Mayo. 
With Illastrations by M. Ellen Edwards. 


Chap, XXIV. Waste of Time z 

XXV. At Work at Mrs. Grale's 7 

XXVI. Shopping 15 

XXVII. Sam Towne's Tale 3Z 

XXVIII. Walking to the Conrt 8z 

XXIX. Called in to Mrs. Grale S8 

XXX. A Telegram • 93 

XXXI. Something Fonnd 98 

XXXII. Lady Laura's Advice i6z 

XXXIII. The Letter that was not Found . • . ... 168 

XXXIV. Mr. Grale's Visit 172 

XXXV. The Mediumship of Miss Bessie Tempest • . . • Z79 

XXXVI. Webster's Hammer 241 

XXXVn. The Black Pool gives up its Secret 245 

XXXVIII. Moma's Marriage 254 

XXXIX. "Cain" 258 

XL. Edgar to the Rescue . . . . . . . . 32Z 

XLI. A Confession 326 

XLII. The Yellow Woman 331 

XLIII. A Journey North 338 

XLIV. The Dead Living 401 

XLV. " A Life for a Ufe " 411 

XLVI. Conclusion 416 

Amethyst Seal, The. By T. W. Speight 264 

Aunt Paradox 342 

Board-ship Friendships. By F. E. W 203 

Camping Oat By Minnie Douglas ...... 235 

ChristobeL By Joyce Darrell 48, 123 

Coleridge. By Axjce King 1x6 

Cyril Trevor's Wood Nymph 151 

Devil in Dunchester, The 68 

Dickens's Works, The Tendency of ....... . 282 

Forgotten Tragedy, A. By C. J. Langston 481 

Ghost of Bolsover's Bank, The 442 

How it Came There 493 

Inestimable Loans . 232 

Invalid's Comer, The. ByJ.E.PANT0N 144 

Man from C ^, The 317 

Master Bruin. By Maris Orm 287 

iv Contents. 


Miss Oldham's Choice. By the Author of *' Adonais, Q.C." . 209 

Modem Fatima, A. By H. F. 72 

Old Stone Cross, The 221 

Only a Daily Episode .•.•..... 381 

Pettifer's Clerk 423 

Potpourri. With Illustrations. By Charles W.Wood, F.R.G.S. 458 

Romantic Wedding, A. By Anne Beale 309 

Sabrina 293 

Second-hand Gown, A 497 

Story of the Day, A. By Mary Doveton Hodges. . • . 27 

Supernatural, On the 38 

Thought Reading at Lady Clanjamfrey's. By G. B. Stuart . 106 

Two Women of Letters. By H. Barton Baker . • . • 360 

Yosodhara. By Fabian Bland 372 


Remembrance. By G. B. Stuart 37 

Cape Horn. By T. S. Cunningham 80 

A Heroine of the Gutter 143 

A Love Plaint. ByA.E.G 160 

Household Names. By Helen Marion Burn side . . 220 

Sonnet. By Lena Milman 292 

From the Italian of Plutarch. By Alice King .... 316 

Mia— Mai. ByS.G.P 400 

After Many Days. By George Cotterell 422 

Night. By C. £. Meetkerke 480 

Good-bye. By G. B. Stuart 492 

Their Golden Wedding , . . .516 


By M. Ellen Edwards. 

'* * It is not change that I want,' said Maria.** 

*' More chairs were brought out for the visitors, and afternoon tea was 

'* They came in, Charles Carr and Lettice chatting gaily.*' 
"The Black Pool gives up its Secret*' 
" She is at peace,*' said the Highlander, solemnly. 
*' They knew that the parting was to be for ever.** 

By Frank Dadd. 
Illustrations to ** The Ghost of Bolsover's Bank. 

Illustrations to " Pot Pourri.** 


JVLY, iS8s. 

mr? »«-V7C"i-rJr 

A'ow readi). Price SIXPESCE. 



Contents : 
A Complete Story by the Author of 
lastratcd by M. Ellen Edwards. 
Vision: A Midsummer Day's Dr-^am. 

■donais, Q.C' 

on. By Rose Blennerhassett. 

3y Fanny Forrester. 

y H. F. Lester. 

ig". By M. G. Lane. 

/IBER of Llie ARGOSY is quite separate 
ary Monthly Issue of the Magazine, and 
{Sellers and Bookstalls in the Kingdom. 

: SON, 8, New 

in ordinary to Her Majesty. 

. .-t,", *-. - <ui>c-irBiKcrs ncaa steadier 

le rooms looked deserted ; the very fires 
arts wasting in solitude. 
visit to the General was brief enough. He 
tbly, but much conversation on his pan 
Palmer and Mrs. Vivian never had much 


JULY, 1 88s. 




DREARY enough looked Bering Court on that November day — 
so thought Dr. Palmer as he approached it. When one has 
dismal spirits at these dismal seasons, it rather tries the faith to believe 
in joy and June flowers. The former seems receding in the Past, as 
the latter are decaying under the sodden leaves. 

Dr. Palmer was about to pay his daily visit to his patients, General 
Vivian and Maria ; and he was also intending to question Edgar upon 
the matters which had been talked of the previous evening between 
himself and Mr. Grale. 

If Allan Grale and Edgar Vivian had really joined hands in any 
evil doing, then Maria, the Doctor suspected, must know of it. And 
now that he himself knew the real mystery and secrecy surrounding 
Allan's departure, he almost questioned whether Maria had not some 
private grounds for her fear that the young man had committed 
suicide. Or was there only some subde instinct in her mind that told 
her so? 

Dr. Palmer was not one of those scientific men who seem to think 
we have touched the limits of all knowledge. He was not sure that 
there are no powers lying latent in all humanity, to be here and there 
abnormally exhibited before the time comes for their harmonious 
development Neither was he sure that some minds may not have 
powers ofinsight or foresight as superior to others as an acrobat's limbs 
are more nimble than other legs, or a rope-walker's head steadier 
than ordinary brains. 

Within the house, the wide rooms looked deserted ; the very fires 
teemed lonely, like loving hearts wasting in solitude. 

The Doctor's professional visit to the General was brief enough. He 
was progressing very favourably, but much conversation on his part 
was stin forbidden, and Dr. Palmer and Mrs. Vi>ian never had much 


2 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

to say to each other. But she began to talk this morning of the 
Grales ; asking where young Grale was, and what he w^ent away for : 
had he gone travelling for the business ? 

Doctor Palmer looked at her ; he felt quite sure that she had hcr.rd 
a rumour of there being something crooked about Allan's departure. 
He thought of poor Maria in her darkened chamber : had this cold 
woman been talking with her ? 

She would not let him escape by silence. She repeated that sup- 
position about travelling for the business. 

" I believe he has gone on business of his own, madam," said the 
Doctor. He tried to speak carelessly and was conscious that he did not 

Mrs. Vivian gave a little, low laugh. " I doubt if Allan's business 
will ever be as profitable as his father's," she said. 

From the General's room. Dr. Palmer went on to Maria's. He found 
her alone. Her condition was unchanged. There was still the same 
puzzling absence of any organic disease, combined with a state of ner- 
vous irritation and depression, which was certainly a soil in which any 
disease might soon take root. She could scarcely eat, she could 
scarcely sleep ; and she was wearing to a shadow. Naturally enough, 
she had never alluded to Allan Grale to Dr. Palmer. She had never 
owned to any cause for anxiety. She did so to-day for the first time. 

After speaking a little about her own condition, the Doctor recom- 
mending various things, Maria mentioned her old fears about her 
brother George ; he was looking so thin and pale ; worse than ever. 
And yet he would not own to being ill, neither would he assure her he 
was quite well. He only said that he must take a change as soon as 
possible, and then he should be all right 

" Just what I am always saying," observed Dr. Palmer. *' As soon 
as the General can be moved, you should all go South together. And 
that will be very soon." 

" I need not go," said Maria, rather wildly. " It is not change that 
I want — I know that — sometimes one may understand one's own ail- 
ments better than a doctor can. I said to Geoige only yesterday that he 
ought to take a change — to go South ; upon which he answered very 
quickly that South would not suit him, and when he went he 
should go to the North. But — I think," added Maria nervously — " I 
think Edgar wants change more even than George. He seems to have 
some great trouble upon him." 

" What is the trouble, Miss Vivian ? " 

Maria shook her head. 

" Is it connected in any way with Allan Grale ? " 

Maria started. " Why do you ask that, Dr. Palmer ? " 

" The thought occurred to me," was the careless answer. " Allan's 
own people were in some doubt or trouble about him — as to where 
he was, I understand : his friend Edgar may have been the same. Is 
it so, do you think ? " 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 3 

"Not that I know of," she replied. "He does not tell me; he is 
quite silent to me. My poor uncle used to be uneasy about both my 
brothers of late. I remember he spoke anxiously of them on the very 
morning of his seizure ; and his words have come back upon me often 

" I suppose Edgar has not been treading in the steps of some of 
those fellows at Oxford, and got involved in any money difficulties ? " 
said the Doctor, cautiously. 

Maria looked up astonished ; her innocent fancies did not run in 
that line. " No," she said. " Oh no." 

Dr. Palmer did not question her about the fear she had hinted of 
to Agnes ; the time had hardly come for that ; he must try to get 
a little more information himself first ; though he would greatly have 
liked to know whence Maria had derived it 

" I Avish you would see Edgar, Dr. Palmer, and — if you can — ask 
what it is that is amiss with him. I do not think it is his healtli 
chat is wrong ; I think it is the mind." 

" Young fellows like your brother Edgar will take life tragically at 
times," laughed the Doctor, who did not wish to alarm her. The laugh 
ended rather abruptly with the thought that the passions and foUies 
of youth often sully their waters for ever, before the angels come to 
trouble them. The Doctor had known many sad stories. Pure and 
good himself, yet with a mind wide enough to comprehend the frail- 
ties of human nature, that drag it down to the lowest depths, even 
while it would fain aspire towards the divine, he was one of those 
bom-confessors who are to be found within all creeds. 

He went in quest of Edgar Vivian. During his conversation with 
Maria, a slight memor>' had suddenly revived — the memory of that 
bright autumn morning when Allan had somehow eluded meeting her 
and himself in the road. He found Edgar in the morning-room, 
seated before the fire. The Doctor rallied him on his idleness, and 
bade him come out and walk with him — he had something to say to 

Edgar rose to obey, neither with pleasure nor alacrity ; but with 
the mechanical obedience of one who feels that the point will be 
carried whether or no. 

Directly they started, Dr. Palmer went straight to the point at 

" I have a message to you from Mr. Grale," he said. " He wishes 
to know when you last saw Allan." 

A curious expression flitted across the young man's face. The 
Doctor could not translate it. Indeed it was too fleeting. It changed 
and it was gone. 

" I can scarcely remember," he answered. " We used to meet 
occasionally. I did not go about much, after my uncle was taken 

" But just before he lefl home, you wrote a note to him asking him 

4 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

to meet you at the Black Pool," pursued the Doctor. " His father 
wants to know whether he kept that appointment ? " 

" No, he did not," Edgar replied, quite readily. " How did Mr. 
Grale know about that invitation ? " he asked in return. " Did Allan 
tell him." 

" I believe your note was found in Allan's bedroom by his father 
after he had gone away. And so Allan did not keep that appointment ? *" 
" No-^nor did he answer the note," said Edgar. " I have wondered 
once or twice since whether it was possible he never got it." 

"Oh, he*must have got it," remarked the Doctor; "but I think it 
was just about then that he went away. Mr. Grale wants very much 
to hear what you can tell him about his son. Did Allan tell you that 
his father would not answer the note you sent to him ? At leasts 
would not accede to its request" 
"What note?" asked Edgar. 
"The note you wrote to Mr. Grale." 

" I never wrote to Mr. Grale in my life — that I remember." 
The Doctor hesitated. "I think you did," he said, wondering 
whether the young man could have suddenly developed into bold un- 
truthfulness. Possibly by accident or mistake, Edgar had addressed 
this letter, both within and without, to " Mr. Grale," so that the father 
had become possessed of what had been intended for the son. 

" Did you happen to write any other note to Allan about that time, 
just before the one asking him to meet you at the Black Pool ? " he 

Edgar did not even pause for a moment's reflection. He answered 
readily. " No, I am quite sure I did not. I was not in any habit of 
writing notes to young Grale. I am not so intimate with him as 
George is." 

" Edgar," said the Doctor, " you must forgive me for pressing these 
questions, and you must answer them quite seriously. Grave matters, 
may be at stake ; we can scarcely imagine how grave." 

He paused there, to give his words due emphasis. Did Edgar's 
face grow paler, or was it only that at that moment they passed into 
the shadow of the pines ? 

" I must ask you, did you ever borrow money from the Grales ? " 
continued Dr. Palmer. " Tell me the ver>' worst truth, at once^ my 

There could be no mistake about Edgar's paleness now. " I did," 
he rather sharply said. " I borrowed fifty pounds from Allan." 

" When was that ? " asked Dr. Palmer, with a sinking of the heart, 
for he had hoped, though he could hardly tell how, to hear something 
different from this. 

" Allan Grale brought the money to me on the very day of my 
uncle's attack." 

**And did you ever have any other monetary* transactions with 
him ? " 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 5 

" What do you mean by transactions ? '' demanded Edgar, a shade 
of irritation in his tone. 

** You must pardon me," said the Doctor. " Of course you can 
refuse to answer my questions, if you choose. Did you borrow any 
more money from him? — or did you even seek to borrow any 
more ? " 

" Oh ! " ejaculated Edgar, with apparently relieved surprise. " No, 
certainly I never did." 

** To put it very plainly to you, Edgar," said Dr. Palmer, " do 
you know where young Grale now is ? " 

Edgar Vivian averted his face. " No, Dr. Palmer, I do not." 
Perhaps it was only the gesture which gave an indistinctness and 
uncertainty to his tone. But somehow Dr. Palmer did not f^^el satis- 
iied with the answer. 

" Have you any idea that he led home in an abrupt and secret 
manner ? " 

'* I know nothing about his leaving home," said Edgar Vivian, 

" My dear young friend," went on the Doctor, almost piteously, for 
he did not like his role of inquisitor, " do you know anything which 
you are willing to tell? If so, tell it at once and spare these 
questions. If not, say so, and still spare them." 

Edgar walked on in silence for some paces. His usually bright 
face looked dark. 

" I know nothing which it is in my power to tell you. Dr. Palmer. 
At least not until I know why I am asked — and possibly not 

The Doctor could have groaned with disappointment. "Will 
you answer this one question," he said. " Has there not been some 
communication between you and Allan Grale since his departure ? " 

Edgar Vivian visibly hesitated. " Yes," he said, with constraint, 
" I suppose you may believe so. But under present circumstances I 
cannot say anything about that" * 

'* Have you directed a parcel to him — to wait at the station of 
Corrabuin until called for ? " 

" Dr. Palmer, I most earnestly beg of you not to put further 
questions to me." 

" Mr. Grale is anxious about his son," stated the Doctor, forlornly, 
feeling that he was fighting some intangible influence adverse to his 
purpose. " I suppose you mean me to be at liberty to tell him all 
you have told me." 

"Yes, if you like. I have told you very little." 

They had reached a cross-road, and they instinctively paused to 
part there. Edgar continued, with something of compunction in his 
tone. "It isn't my own affair you have been asking me about, 
Doctor. We must not be too frank with other people' j business." 

*' You have told me plenty that will interest Mr. Grale, in saying 

6 The Mystery of Allan Gtalc, 

that Allan did not meet you at the Black Pool, that he did not 
answer your note, that you had never made any application for a 
second loan, and that you have had communication with him since 
he went away. Enough to interest him, but scarcely to satisfy him^ 
I think. He will probably seek an interview with you, himself" 

Edgar said nothing. His eyes uneasily sought the distant 

" It is not for me to ask you to let Mr. Grale wholly into your 
confidence," went on the Doctor. " That must be left to your own 
judgment But I do ask you to be as considerate towards him as 
you can. He is an elderly man — and is somewhat tried just now." 

" Yes, I suppose so," was the answer, spoken earnestly. 

"Edgar Vivian, I am thinking of you as well as of Mr. Grale. 
You have been clearly in some trouble, or you would not have been 
borrowing that sum of money. Are you out of that trouble yet ? 
Forgive an old friend's interest." 

" I am out of that trouble : at least I shall be, for I can now see 
my way to repay Mr. Grale, if he is in no hurry for it — ^and I only 
borrowed the money of Allan on that condition." Edgar spoke 
almost haughtily. He was thinking of Agnes, and of the bad impres- 
sion he was probably creating in her father's mind. Unconsciously 
Edgar had emphasised " that trouble." The Doctor looked at him 
and shook his head slightly. 

" You have asked me a great many questions. Dr. Palmer," said 
the young man. " I don't resent your having done so ; I honour 
your motives. But you must pardon me for asking one in return. 
Do you know on whose information Mr. Grale has heard this ? " 

" On nobody's information," said the Doctor, quite eagerly. For 
if there was anything he counted desirable, it was to keep the atmos- 
phere of life free from suspicion of spies and hostile critics. " Oi* 
nobody's information, but on the simple evidence of a few facts. 
There was your note for instance, makiag the appointment for the 
Black Pool." 

The Doctor paused in reflection. He felt that Edgar watched 
him narrowly. 

" One fact, bearing on these recent communications, was told by a 
quite unconnected person, told innocently, with no idea of its signifi- 
cance," said Dr. Palmer. This referred to the letter which had 
come from Savoch, from Mrs. Gibson to her sister. 

" If I make a correct guess as to that person, will you tell me if I 
am right ? " 

" Yes, most certainly," said the Doctor, wondering. 

" Was it not the woman who lodges with Mrs. Massey — the strange 
woman who goes about in a yellow cloak ? " 

Dr. Palmer stared and then laughed " No, indeed it was not," he 
quickly said. " That's a strange fancy. What could have put that 
woman into your head ? " 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. y 

" Well — I suppose it was a fancy. I don't like that woman, Dr. 
Palmer. I am not sure but I fear her. Why does she dodge 
people's footsteps? — ^Twice I have detected her following mine, 
once by night, once by day. As to the Black Pool, she seems to 
haunt it" 

Dr. Palmer was listening attentively. 

" Does your sister Maria know that you have had any communica- 
tion with Allan Grale since he went away ? " he asked. 

" No, certainly not," replied Edgar, emphatically. " I do not 
discuss private affairs, that concern me and my friends, even with my 
sister. And you may be inferring too much, sir. I have told you 
nothing on that head." 

" You mean that you have not absolutely told me you have had 
communication from Allan." 

" Just so." 

** It would be the greatest possible relief to the minds of poor Mr. 
and Mrs. Grale to know that you had. They are uneasy, naturally so, 
not having heard of him since he went away. They would give a 
great deal to know where he is." 

" I could not tell them that," said Edgar. " I do not know my- 

The s|>eakers parted. That one remark of Edgar Vivian's kept 
returning to Dr. Palmer's mind as he walked along the sodden 
November roads. Why did the yellow woman follow him about? 
And why did she haunt the Black Pool ? 

But, summing up his interview with the young man. Dr. Palmer 
came to the conclusion that it had been an unsatisfactory one ; litde 
better than waste of time. 



When Mr. Grale heard of the strange replacing of the diamond cross, 
he received the startiing news with an indifference which his wife con- 
sidered stolid and unnatural Mrs. Grale wanted to enjoy her excite- 
ment, which one can scarce do to the full alone, and as Mary Anne 
was not to know of the event, to whom could she look for the required 
sympathy, if not to her husband ? There was only one consolation in 
his apathy — he seemed to have so thoroughly accepted her assurances 
on the care with which she kept her keys that he asked no question 
on the subject. But he said this : 

" And, as the keys are never out of your possession, it must mean 
that somebody has a master key.'' 

She thought he seemed inclined to say that with a derisive smile, 
rather than with due alarm. But to turn him from any dangerous 
enquiiy, she answered in a flurry : 

8 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

" Well, it may be a good thing if they have, since it gave them a 
chance of putting back what they had taken, and regaining their 
honesty. But I'd like to know who it was, for all that," she added, 
shrewdly, " for I don't say I'd trust such a thief again — and I don't 
believe much in a repentance that is so careful of not taking shame to 

" Well, well," said her husband, " it is over now — ^let it pass this 
time. If it happens again, we will make proper enquiry." 

" The impudence of oiling the spring of the case ! " cried Mrs. 
Grale. " It must have been a bold thief, Richard ! " 

That little detail took hold of her fancy amazingly ; and she could 
not help thinking how wonderfully it would add to the colour of the 
story she would have to tell, when once the embargo of silence was 
removed. That must happen in time ; Mrs. Grale could not conceive 
of secrets that are to be kept for ever. 

Dr. Palmer lost no time in seeking Mr. Grale. Shut up with him 
that same afternoon in the counting-house at the Works, the Doctor 
repeated the scant and most unsatis&ctory answers he had received 
from Edgar Vivian. Mr. Grale said little, but he followed every item 
with close attention, his few answering comments showing how he 
weighed the significance of every word. 

When Dr. Palmer dwelt on young Vivian's denial of having ever 
written to Allan's father, or of any knowledge of the request for the 
second loan, Mr. Grale did not forget to remind him that he had 
considered the handwriting of that note the most like the one on the 
Corrabuin label : and when Dr. Palmer urged that they had not yet got 
Edgar's admission of having written that, he grimly said that they had 
Edgar's admission that he had had some communication with Allan, 
though he refused to say more on the subject. " And well might he 
refuse to confess to any knowledge of that box!" added Mr. Grale, in 
a burst of impulse. 

"Stay," said Dr. Palmer ; "I cannot be sure that Vivian did admit 
it. At first I thought he did ; tacitly though, rather than in direct 
words ; but later, on my referring to it, he reminded me that he did 

" What am I to understand?" retorted Mr. Grale. "Did he admit 
having held communication with my son since his flight, or did he 
not ? " 

" Mr. Grale, it is as I say to you — that I cannot be sure. If Vivian 
has held any, rely upon it he has some deep motive for not letting it 
be known." 

" Some deep devilry," cried Mr. Grale, angrily. "That's what they 
are in together." 

" I think they must hold some deep secret together ; or else — or 
else," added Dr. Palmer, half musingly — " Edgar would like to cause 
it to be thought he has had communication from Allan, when he has 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. g 

" But why should he do that ? " 

" I cannot say. The whole matter is puzzling me, sir, more than 
you may think for." 

" He denies knowing where Allan is." 

" He does. And so far I think we may rely upon him. One thing 
that he said, I must mention to you " 

Dr. Palmer paused. He was about to speak of the " yellow 
woman," but an idea suddenly struck him that he must do so with 
caution, for he had been half wondering whether that mysterious 
personage might be a detective employed by Mr. Grale to pry into the 
movements of his son and Edgar Vivian. 

*• You were about to say ? " said Mr. Grale. 

"Yes. Do you know anything of a woman who has come to 
lodge in Dering, and goes about in a yellow cloak ? " continued the 

" Not likely,*' curtly answered Mr. Grale, as if he considered Dr. 
Palmer was wandering from the point in discussion. '^ IVe heard one 
and another mention such a woman ; I never saw her." 

And Dr. Palmer felt that the rough-spoken words were true. 
^ When Edgar Vivian asked me who it was that had enlightened you 
upon the box waiting at Corrabuin and other things," he went on, " he 
said he thought it must be that individual, the yellow woman." 

"The yellow woman ! — enlightened me ! " cried Mr. Grale, in sur- 
prise. " What made him say that ? " 

" I do not know." 

"What should she know about my son's business? — or Edgar 
Vivian's ? " 

"Again I can only say I do not know. Mr. Grale I am deeply 
sensible how little I have helped you with your cause in undertaking 
to question Edgar Vivian, but I assure you I was met by some 
opposing influence at every step. I wish you'd see him yourself. You 
Biay be able to make more of him than I could." 

Mr. Grale did not say whether he should take the advice, or not. 
He leaned back in his chair, musing, his hands in his pockets. Dr. 
Palmer rose. There was nothing more to wait for. 

"After all, Doctor, I look upon it that we are just about where we 
were and no further," he said, suddenly. " Allan has disappeared, 
and no living mortal seems to know where." 

On the day following this, Mr. Grale, upon going home to luncheon, 
found by some chance remarks passing between Mary Anne and her 
mother, that the " yellow w^oman " was absolutely at that time w^orking 
at Mooriand house. He pricked up his ears, remembering the words 
of Dr. Palmer. 

" W^ho is this Miss West ? " he asked. " A seamstress ? " 

"Yes, papa," said Mary Anne. "She works beautifully." 

'* But who is she ? " 
I'm sure 1 don't know," returned Mary Anne. " It does not 


lo The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

matter to us, while she does her work well. She is a superior kind 
of person." 

Mr. Grale thought he would take a look at this woman. Hearing 
that she was working in the disused nursery, or playroom, which was 
in handy proximity to the linen-closet, and, like it, was a wide, low- 
pitched room, scantily furnished, with wide, small paned windows, he 
went up to it. Beside the old-fashioned fire-place, in a low, comfor- 
table chair covered with coarse, red flannel, sat Miss West. Mr. 
Grale saw a neat-looking little woman, in a good merino gown with a 
small white edging at the throat and wrist, and her dark hair braided 
back from her face. She looked up when he entered but did not 
pause in her stitching. 

He made a pretext of wanting to look for sometliing in a cupboard 
at the far end of the room, which really held nothing but stray- 
numbers of old periodicals. Taking up one of these, he approached 
Miss West, remarking that the weather to-day was disagreeable. He 
understood she was a stranger in Dering. She must find the state of 
the roads very different from that of town causeways. 

" Yes, sir," said Miss West, in her quiet, easy manner. " But I 
am used to country roads — I have lived quite as much in the country 
as in town." 

" And which do you like best ? " asked Mr. Grale. 

Miss West smiled. " Each has its advantages, sir," she answered. 
" And as one generally has a reason for being where one is at the 
time, one likes that best while there." 

"An uncommonly sensible woman," thought Mr. Grale. But 
there was something about her which made him feel uncomfortable, 
he could not possibly have told why. He would have liked to ques- 
tion her, to ask what her business was in Dering ; but he felt that she 
was quite capable of replying in the most naively respectful manner, 
yet telling him nothing. He went downstairs thinking. 

" Can it be ? " But the mental question was interrupted by his 

meeting Susan, the parlour-maid, taking up, by her mistress's orders, a 
glass of wine to the seamstress. 

" So you have had the master in here ! " exclaimed Susan, as she 
cleared a place for the wine-glass amidst the litter of the sewing 

" Yes," said Miss West, "and a pleasant-spoken gentleman I found 

" Ah, he's not always so," said Susan — " as many a one could tell 
you. He keeps people in subjection, he does — ^ask his clerks that. 
It's said, you know, that it was nothing but his quarrelling drove poor 
Mr. Allan away." 

Miss West looked up. " Was it ? " she asked. 

" / think so," said Susan, who held Miss West in especial favour, 
because she lodged at Mrs. Massey's, and Mrs. Massey's son was 
Susan's young man. " The mistress and Miss Mary Anne believed 

The Mystery of Allan Grale^ ii 

he was in his room as usual, whatever master knew, and then we 
thought he would he gone only for two or three days, but the days 
are turning into weeks now " 

" Where did he go to ? Where is he ?" 

"Nobody knows," said Susan. " W? don^" 

" Mrs. Grale will know where her son is." 

"No, that she does not," dissented Susan, eagerly. "I don't 
believe it She fretted dreadful at first. It's the master who knows, 
if anybody does ; and the mistress has cheered up a little again, 

" Mrs. Grale must know all about it," persisted the work-woman ; 
"or, as time passes on, she would grow more anxious, instead of 
less so." 

Susan shook her head. " The mistress doesn't have much of her 
own way. She's a good sort of mistress, and means well ; but she 
can't go very deep. SAe^s frightened of the master," added Susan, 
with emphasis. " That is, she daren't go against him." 

" And is Miss Mary Anne frightened of her father ? " asked Miss 

" Miss Mary Anne thinks of nothing but herself," confided Susan ; 
"of herself and Mr. George Vivian. She thinks he is in love with 
her : leastways, hopes he is. But I don't fancy Mr. George would 
come to this house for a wife." 

" And why not ? " asked Miss West, who appeared to be taking a 
good deal of silent interest in the conversation. 

"Why, because they are quite a different style of family I" ex- 
claimed Susan. " It's all money, money, money, with our people, 
and they've got to domineer over other folks to try to keep their own 
place. The Vivians have no fear for theirs ! They are the Vivians 
of Dering, and everyone knows it I've seen the General take an 
old woman's basket and carry it up the hill for her, and Miss Maria 
makes herself a true friend to everybody who wants one. Joe 
Massey says that after his accident if Miss Maria called and found 
him lacking anything, she'd go straight back to the Court and bring 
it down with her own hands." 

" I have heard about you and Joe Massey," pleasantly remarked 
Miss West, biting off an end of thread. 

Susan smiled and blushed " And the two gentlemen, Mr. George 
and Mr. Edgar, always speak so pleasant to one," she went on. 
"They'd as soon think of domineering over their horses and dogs as 
over us poor people." 

Something in the speech seemed to offend the seamstress. ** And 
if their politeness comes from the same cause — that they deem poor 
people to be a different order of being from themselves — ^then I'd 
rather a thousand times have the overbearing insolence of the Grales ! " 
said she, flaring into sudden and unaccountable heat. 

It did not ruffle thoughtless, good-humoured Susan. " I wouldn't," 

12 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

said she. " If people are pleasant and civil in their dealings with 
you, what more do you want of them ? I'm sure that afternoon 
when Mr. Edgar came up to ask for Mr. Allan, speaking so 
gently and kindly, I thought his very manner was enough to wile a 
bird off a bough." 

Miss West gave a queer laugh. " To wile a bird off a bough ! ** 
she echoed. "Aye." 

" It is Mr. George who has generally been most intimate in coming 
here for Mr. Allan," pursued Susan, " but that afternoon it was Mr. 
Edgar. And he wrote that note, which there's been a talk of, in our 
very hall here, tearing a leaf out of his own pocket-book and twisting 
it up after for me to give to Mr. Allan. It was the very day Mr. Allan 
went away." 

Miss West let her sewing lie still in her lap. She was^ looking at 

" AVhat was in the note ? " she said. 

" It was asking Mr. Allan to meet him at the Black Pool.' 

" Did he meet him there ? " eagerly cried Miss West. 

" I don't know," answered Susan. " He went out as soon as he 
had swallowed his dinner, and he did not come back again." 

The w^ork-woman had never taken her eyes from Susan's face. 

" Was Mr. Edgar Vivian so condescending as to tell you what was 
in the note ? " she questioned, in a mocking tone. 

The girl coloured. " No, he didn't," she said, shortly. " And I 
didn't peep inside, either, as perhaps you are thinking. When the 
young master read the note, he must have left it lying open on his 
toilet-table — and I happened — I could not help it — to see what it 
said. I folded the note up again into the same twists and left it 
there : I didn't like Mr. Allan to know it had been read. Not that 
there was anything in it that all the house might not have seen — 
just two or three lines asking Mr. Allan to go to the Black Pool." 

"And — he — never — came — ^home — again!" repeated Miss West, 
with a pause between every word as if in deep thought. 

" No. Never since then." 

" Do you remember the date, Susan ? " 

" Yes, I do — I remember it by something particular that concerns 
myself. It was a Tuesday, and the 20th of October." 

Miss West nodded — as if she had expected the answer. 

" I think I saw him myself that same night," she said, slowly. 

" La ! " exclaimed Susan. " Where ? " 

" Oh, in the road," said Miss West, evasively. " I was not quite 
sure that it was Mr. Allan Grale, though I was nearly sure ; but he 
looked rather stouter than usual and hardly as tall. But the moon- 
light is deceptive, and I was not very near him. He had on a light 

"That was him,'' said Susan. "The master asked about that 
light over-coat, and James said his young master took it out with 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 13 

him. He had it on his arm when he walked from the door, but 
James saw him take hold of it as if he was going to put it on. I 
wonder what he and Mr. Edgar had got to talk about ? And what a 
gniesome place to meet at ! — ^that Black Pool." 

Miss West took up her sewing again. " I should not speculate 
upon the matter, were I you, Susan," she said, reprovingly. " Gentle- 
men may have business matters to discuss that do not concern other 

Susan listened with perfect good-temper. She decided that Miss 
West was an old maid, and all old maids were ridiculously particular. 

When Mr. Grale went down stairs after leaving the nursery, he 
drew a chair to the dining-room fire, and sat down to think. The 
prolonged absence of his son and the fact of his not writing to 
them was beginning to disturb him, but only in a slight degree. 
He was now asking himself why Edgar Vivian should refuse 
to tell what he knew — if he knew anything — and why he should 
suspect that seamstress of having spoken to him, Mr. Grale, about 
matters that concerned his son. But upon these points his mind 
wholly refused to give hini any answering light. 

"Well, well, we must hope it will come soon," mused he. ** Every 
day must bring us nearer to hearing something or other." 

Just as he was about to rise and take his departure for the Works, 
Mrs. Grale came into the room. 

" Why, Richard ! " she exclaimed, " I didn't know you were here ; 
I thought you had gone back long ago. Is anything the matter ? 
.\re you not well ? " 

Ii was so very unusual for Mr. Grale to linger at home in the day- 
time that she put the question. More often than not he did not 
tome in to lunch at alL 

**Well? I'm quite well," crustily answered Mr. Grale. "What 
should ail me ? " 

Mrs. Grale sat down on the other side of the hearth, and drew her 
chair near to him. She had been wanting to talk to him, but had 
not liked to begin ; perhaps this might be a good opportunity. 

**We don't hear from Allan, Richard." 

" No," he answered. " Shan't be long first, I daresay, now." 

" If I could only think it ! " she sighed. " Richard, I've wanted 
to say something to you, but I couldn't sum up courage. You take 
me up so sharply if I ever mention such things." 

" What things ? " he asked. 

" Well — ^all sorts of things. Dreams, for example." 

" Dreams ! " Mr. Grale's voice had a great scorn in it. 

"Yes, I know how you ridicule all that But, Richard, I'm very 
unhappy ; you may'see it for yourself, though I don't talk of it ; and I 
v-ish you'd let me just tell you what I want to tell, and listen to me 
quietly. I try to be patient ; you know I do." 

'' You can tell it," said Mr. Grale, in a kinder tone. 

14 Ths Mystery of Allan Grak. 

"You remember that note which we found on Allan's dressing- 
table," began Mrs. Grale. " It was from Edgar Vivian, you said, but 
you did not show it to me. I might have opened it for myself before, 
but I did not. Was it not to make an appointment for Allan to meet 
young Vivian at the Black Pool ? " 

" Yes — to fish. How did you get to know it ? " 

" Mary Anne said so yesterday. She had heard it from somebody 
or other. Well, I think then, we may be at liberty to conjecture that 
when Alny hastened out that evening after his dinner, it was to keep 
that appointment. Do you think so ? " 

" I can't say. It might have been." 

" Well now, Richard," continued poor Mrs. Grale, trembling slightly, 
" this is what I want you not to be angry with me for — ^what I'm going 
to say now. That night ; that very same night, you understand ; I 
had a dreadful dream about the Black Pool. I was in frighUul 
distress over somebody that was drowning in it. I seemed to feel the 
water upon my face ; I did indeed, Richard ; and my poor sister 
Marget was following me about everywhere. I have never had so 
bad a dream as that." 

" You had been eating too many good things at Lady Laura Bond's, 

" That dream of mine was not all," continued Mrs. Grale, paying 
no heed to the common-place suggestion in her distress. " In 
that letter which I had from Marget, about the box waiting at Corra- 
buin, she tells me she had just the same sort of dream on the same 
night — and she had it also, or something like it, on other nights after- 
wards. I'll read you what she says ; I have the letter here." 

Rapidly taking the letter from her pocket, Mrs. Grale read aloud 
the part relating to her sister's dream. 

" ' The dreams began on a Tuesday night — it was the Twentieth of 
October. I seemed to be in a wild, dreary place, where there was a 
dreadful looking pool surrounded by dark trees, and I felt as if I were 
tossing up and down in icy-cold water, and I could hear you sobbing 
and crying. I woke up once, and I can tell you, Polly, my fright was 
that bad I shook the bed; after a bit, I fell asleep again and the 
dream came back.* Now, Richard," Mrs. Grale went on, after a 
moment's pause, " despite your unbelief in such things, you must see 
it's odd that I and Marget Gibson should have had that horrible 
dream the same night, she up in Scotland and I here." 

" Nothing has come of it, to you, or to her," said Mr. Grale, com- 
passionately, suppressing his ridicule. 

Mrs. Grale was folding the letter to return it to her pocket. " There 
were other things mixed up in her dreams, that it's no use ?mting 
about, Marget says. But, Richard — I've been thinking — since I 
heard Alny went out to go to the Black Pool that same night, whether 
— ^whether " 

The Mystery of Allan Gralc. 15 

Mrs. Grale hesitated. '* Thinking what ? " asked her husband. 

" Whether any harm happened to him ? Any accident ? Whether 
he could have tumbled into the Pool and couldn't get out again ? " 

She had lowered her voice to a whisper, and before it ceased it was 
so hushed that Mr. Grale could hardly catch the words. 

He sat looking into the fire, not speaking. Mrs. Grale sat looking 
at him. 

" No, no, Mary ; no," he said, sharply. " It is not likely. He 
would not be at the Black Pool by himself, and whoever was with 
him would pretty soon pull him out, or give the alarm." 

" That would be Edgar Vivian," she said, quietly. 

" Edgar Vivian says they did not meet there. Besides, he — ^he has 
heard in some way from Alny since he went away." 

"Then you have been enquiring about it, Richard ! You have 
been uneasy yourself." 

" Uneasy ! certainly not," said Mr. Grale, wishing to disperse her 
own uneasiness. ** After reading that note, it was natural I should 
enquire whether they met or not. Calm your mind, Polly ; there's 
nodiing to fear. It's there rubbishing dreams that have upset you ; 
nothing else." 

He went off to the mills as he spoke, walking with quite a d^bon- 
naire manner, for he knew she was watching him from the window. 
But there's no doubt that his mind was rather disagreeably exercised. 



Time crept on at Dering as elsewhere, and people began to talk about 

In the two chief houses at Dering the season could bring little 
festivity. General Vivian had not had any relapse ; he was recover- 
ing slowly ; but the medical men did not appear to be easy about 
him, and warned his nephews that his life might end suddenly, with 
scarcely an hour's warning. George Vivian's face grew solemn as he 
heard this. 

Maria, too, was better, but her recovery was of that sort which is 
sometimes less satisfactory than continued illness. It was not recovery 
of her old self. It was but a struggle back from the depths to a very 
low level of existence. At the time when she was picturing the 
worst, as to the fate of Allan Grale, her brother George, paying a 
visit to her in her room, had casually mentioned, thinking it would 
be pleasant to her to hear it, and believing it then himself, that Allan 
^ras in Scotlxmd and had written to his mother ; and this in a degree 
revived Maria. 

She no longer remained in her room or kept her shutters closed, or 

1 6 The Mystery of Allan Grale, 

secluded herself from her duties to her uncle or her supervision over 
the servants. She did that much. But she was no more to be met 
going out visiting, or traversing the lanes on errands of helpful kind- 
liness. Neither, when she could avoid it, was she visible in the 
drawing-room. She saw the Palmers once or twice, but she eluded 
anything like an interview with the girls. She was never seen in 
public — not even at church, though once or twice she stole down to 
a short week-night service, held by the kindly vicar for the purpose of 
imparting a little comfort and cheer to the aged, lonely, and illiterate 
people of his flock. It quite startled the good man when, in the dim 
lamplight, he saw Miss Vivian's white, up-turned face. As soon as the 
service was over, she glided away like a ghost, hastening out of the 
little churchyard and crossing the Court gardens alone. Neither 
brothers, nor uncle nor aunt, knew of those church attendances. They 
believed her to be shut up in her own room. 

" A nervous shock of some kind," decided the doctors, and the 
Bering people thought it was due to her uncle's suJden and alarming 
illness. Only Dr. Palmer and Agnes knew better. They knew of that 
strange fear of hers concerning Allan, but they did not speak of it, 
even to each other ; and, though the lear must have been set at rest, 
they concluded that the shock had thus told upon her. 

Mrs. Grale would have given way before this, but for her stem and 
strong-minded husband. As the days and days went on, and still there 
came to the anxious mother no tidings from her son, she now and 
again whispered her fears to her husband in the privacy of their 
chamber. He calmed her, quieted her ; he told her that he thought 
Alny must have gone for a sea-voyage and that they could not hear 
from him just yet He did not altogether believe this himself; 
in truth, he knew not what to believe ; but he thought it not an 
unlikely step for Allan to take, and he knew there were reasons for 
his absenting himself from Dering. 

The Grales were going to London for a few weeks. It was Mr. 
Grale who suggested it ; and he did so for the sake of his depressed 
and nervous wife. The change of scene and the general racket which 
a visit to London impUed, might divert her mind from home troubles. 
They might spend Christmas there, he said. 

Mrs. Grale opposed the idea ; at first on general grounds. She had 
not the courage to say that she wanted to be ready to receive her son, 
if his heart softened to his home at Christmas time. She said that 
she hated to be out of her own snug house in the cold weather — that 
she could not bear railway travelling, and so on. But Mary Anne 
told the plain truth for her and to her, reproaching her again with 
caring nothing for her daughter's pleasure or her husband's wishes, 
but preferring to mope about on some vague hope of Allan's turn- 
ing up. 

" And if he should come while we are away — what of it ? " urged 
Mary Anne. "He would not run off again, even if we were not here.'* 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 17 

*** Ah, Mary" Anne — you don't know." 

Mary Anne softened as she saw her mother's dropping tears. " If 
heoncecoQies back, mamma^ he will stay, never fear; he will have 
found out the difference between his own good home and other places. 
I cannot think what is keeping him away." 

Decidedly, Mary Anne Grale was mystified about what could have 
caused so deadly a breach between her father and brother. For she 
retained her ficst impression : that there had been a quarrel more or 
less definite between them. 

" I should not be surprised if Allan is in London himself," she 


" WeH, )namma, I have thought lately that he may be there. We 
have bee*i^4hinking of Scotland just because of that box — of which 
nothing seems 'to have come. But what should a sociable, lively young 
fellow, .like Alny, do in that bleak, lonely Scotland, where he knows 
nobody ? . He has to .stay away from us for a time, I take it, as he and 
papa are at daggers drawn ; and what more likely than that he should 
take up his abode in London? It is just the place to live cheaply and 
privately in ; and he would be at no loss for acquaintances. He 
knows iritimately some of the medical students at St. George's 

Mrs. Grale answered not a word. But the random shot told. She 
was in that state of mind which catches at any slight ray of hope as a 
relief. She grew to believe it might be as her daughter said, and she 
made no further objection to the scheme of going to London. 

But Mrs. Grale's protracted unwillingness to go, and some matters 
of business which arose at the Works needing the presence of the 
master, topk up further time, and December was now getting on. It 
was finally decided that they should leave Moorland House on the 
shortest day, and probably not return to it until the end of January. 

Mary Anne was eager for the departure. Not only for the excite- 
ment and pleasure that the sojourn would of itself give her, but also 
because she thought she might see more of George Vivian there than 
she did at home. He did not often call at Moorland House ; and 
there was no visiting just now at the Court. George often ran up to 
lx)ndon, and Mary Anne meant to suggest to her mother that he 
should on some one of these occasions stay with them there Mary 
Anne Grale indulged in delightful visions of morning performances 
^md classical concerts, of choral services and winter galleries, and all 
their possibilities of tete-k-tete intercourse. 

'iShe threw out her litrie bait artfully enough, when George, calling 
in at Moorland House, found them in the midst of their final prepara- 
tions for departure. 

"Of course you will feel it your bounden duty to shut yourself up 
with the dear invalids at the Court," she said. 

•• I may have other duties outside the Court," he answered, rather 


i8 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

soberly, and never noticed the bridling blush with which his words were 

'^ But if you should be in London, and you might happen to go up, 
you know, you will find us at the Belvedere Hotel. Do you know the 
Belvedere ? " 

" It is in one of the streets leading out of Piccadilly — opposite the 
Green Park," said George, with scarcely a second's reflection. "A very 
pleasant house to stay at, I believe, and well conducted. Certainly it 
is in a capital position." 

Mary Anne smiled. "A quiet, old-fashioned place, which suits 
qniet, old- fashioned people," she said. " When you are in London, 
you must not forget us. Mamma will be so glad to see a familiar face 
from home ; she never is quite happy away from it. And you are 
such a favourite of hers I " 

George Vivian smiled his pleasant smile. He had a tender feeling 
for all middle-aged matrons — except his aunt ! — for the sake of the 
dead mother who would have been one of them had she lived till 

"That is Mrs. Grale's kindness," he said. ''And I suppose you 
are looking forward to a very gay time." 

" We can scarcely be gay," sighed Mary Anne, sentimentally raising 
her eyes to his. " We are going up for mamma's sake ; she feels so 
very unhappy at Allan's prolonging his absence in this manner." 

George made no answering remark. 

" We are going up in the quietest way possible," continued Mary 
Anne. " We are not taking the carriages ; we shall hire in London. 
Mamma is always nervous in driving our country horses in town. I 
daresay we shall see nobody we know. Dear Lady Laura Bond says 
her kinsman will certainly call — Lord Rockford, you know ; and he 
will no doubt bring young Pelerin — ^but they are nobody." 

She smiled, a smile of girlish innocence, and spoke carelessly, as if 
young lords were every-day friends. And she was rewarded by 
seeing a faint shade of irritation in George's face. It was the 
natural irritation of a man, compelled by every injunction of charity 
and courtesy to be silent, when he would have liked to express some 
strong disapprobation and warning. It is not only Mary Anne Grale 
who has mistaken such irritation for jealousy ! 

In London, Mrs. Grale found in one respect a sort of relief. 
When there was no letter from Allan among those delivered at the 
Belvedere Hotel, she could say to herself that perhaps there was one 
at Moorland House by this time and it would be forwarded in due 
course. At any moment she liked, she could imagine that Allan had 
just arrived in Dering and would post af^er them without delay. 

She liked to drive by St. George's Hospital ; some vague hope 
being ripe within her that she might see her son coming down its 
steps. She caused enquiries to be made of the students there — or, 
rather, Mr. Grale did — ^whether they had lately seen anything of Mr. 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. ig 

Allan Grale. But they had not ; did not, in fact, seem to know who 
Mr. Allan Grale was; yet Mary Anne felt nearly sure that St. 
Geoige's was the hospital at which Allan had acquaintances. Mrs. 
Grale took a never-foiling interest in the crowds in the street ; and 
whilst Mary Anne did her foncy shopping, she would sit waiting in 
the carriage with more patience than she had been wont to show on 
similar occasions, for she was watching for a face that never passed. 

George Vivian spent an evening with them at the hotel But 
Mary Anne somehow picked up an uncomfortable conviction that this 
visit might not have been paid, but for an accidental encounter. 

She was at a certain shop in Bond Street. It was very near their 
hotel, and Mary Anne had gone there earlier than the usual hour for 
shopping ; but she found three or four customers in the shop before 
her. The article she wanted was not at hand, and had to be sought 
for. Leisurely waiting, Miss Grale looked about her. One of the 
customers was a gentleman. He sat at the same side of the shop as 
herself, but higher up ; one or two model costumes stood on frames 
between them, so that all she could see of him was one foot and a 
walking stick. But she could see his purchases piled up on the 
counter. There was a cloak lined with gray squirrel ; " exactly," 
thought Mary Anne, " like Maria Vivian's." There were two heavy 
folds of some fine woollen stuff, one in navy blue, the other in a rich 
moss green, there was a box of gloves and a sof^ felt bonnet with 
some yards of ribbon and lace. All these tempting commodities 
were evidently to be folded and packed for a long journey. Mary 
Anne felt quite interested in her feminine curiosity. But as the 
gentleman, his business completed, got up to leave the shop, Mary 
Anne saw that it was George Vivian. 

' You are an early bargainer ! " he said ; and she fancied he looked 
a little embarrassed. " Have you been here long ? " 

" Not very long," said Mary Anne. " I have not begun my 
bargaining yet. And now, of course you are on your way to our 
hotel, Mr. Vivian. Or were you going to play us so false as to be in 
London and not come near mamma at all ? " 

"Why should you think me so base as that ?" he asked, laughing. 
" I only came up last night, and have sundry urgent commissions to 
execute, which I am getting through as fast as I can. I must be in 
Bering again to-morrow morning. Shall you be at home this 
evening ?" 

"Oh, yes," she answered. "We dine at six o'clock. Will you 
join us then ? Papa and mamma will be delighted." 

George accepted the invitation, and they parted for the time. 

He kept his appointment punctually. But certainly Mary Anne 
did not get much satisfaction out of that evening. Her own temper 
was rather fretted with wondering who could be so intimate with 
George Vivian as to trouble him with such a commission as she had 
him execute. It could not be Maria. She would not want a 

-ao The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

second squirrel cloak ; and Mrs. Vivian never condescended to any- 
thing lower than sealskin with sable tails. Besides, the felt bonnet was 
of too youthful a shape for Mrs. Vivian, and Mary Anne did wonder 
what pretty face it was destined to adorn. George did not volunteer 
the information, and she would not ask it. Then it seemed to Mary 
Anne that her father had never been so peremptory and uncom- 
promising. They played whist after dinner ; she and Mr. Grale were 
partners, and he kept finding fault with her play. When George wished 
them good-bye and went away, he had said never a word about his 

This visit happened only two or three days after Christmas. Now 
in Dering it had long been the custom to have a little village festivity 
in the schoolroom on the last evening of the year, ending with seeing 
the New Year in at a midnight service in the church. Gifts were 
always distributed among the old folks and the children on this 
occasion, and if Mrs. Grale's bales of flannel, and heaps of woollen 
socks were not quite so fine as those sent from the Court, they were 
always double in size and number. The young Dering people who 
had more time than money, such as the Miss Palmers, or the poor 
genteel widows and maiden ladies, had hitherto provided for the 
children by manufacturing satchels and workbags, pinafores and pin- 
cushions. But this year, Mrs. Grale, in the restless activity of her 
present state of mind, had planned a new departure. * She had seen 
how far and how effectively a very little money would go among the 
wares displayed at Christmas in the London toy shops, and she had 
invested accordingly in little bottles of scent, painted paper pictures, 
and toys that were not bulky. These were all packed in readiness to 
be sent to Dering. And it suddenly occurred to Mrs. Grale, as she 
sat at breakfast the morning after George Vivian's visit, that he might 
take them down for her, and so save the payment by rail. Mrs. 
Grale was ever thrifty. " They could be just put into the first class 
carriage beside him, and then no harm could happen to them," she 
remarked. Mr. Grale maintained his usual early habits, had break- 
fasted and was gone out 

" I cannot think how you can dream of troubling Mr. Vivian about 
such rubbish," cried Mary Anne. " He will have parcels enough of 
his own," she added, acidly. 

" No trouble at all," returned Mrs. Grale. "What is a little trouble 
to young men ? And Mr. Vivian is too obliging to object, if it were. 
I'll send Susan to the station with the things in a cab, Mary Anne ; 
and I'll bid her just stow them in wherever Mr. Vivian tells her." 

" You will find that Susan herself will not care for such an errand, 

But there she reckoned without her host. Susan had come to 
London in attendance on the ladies, their own maid being ill ; and her 
face brightened the moment she heard what her mistress wished her 
to do. Mr. Vivian would leave London from the station where her 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 21 

sweetheart, Joe Massey, was employed ; and Susan was just delighted 
at being sent to it 

She had no difficulty in finding Mr. Vivian. He was walking up 
and down the platform smoking a. cigar, and had his pleasant smile 
ready the moment he saw a Dering face. He accepted the charge 
quite cheerfully ; just as Mrs. Grale had thought 

" Put the things into that carriage," he said, indicating one. "The 
train will be off in two or three minutes, and no fellow passenger has 
arrived. I have nothing of my own, except that little black bag." 

" I hope they won't be mudi trouble to you, sir, at Dering," Susan 
ventured to say, thinking of the scarcity of accommodation and porters 
at the station there. 

" Fm going to Carstow," replied Mr. Vivian. " Don't you see that 
this is a main line train ? Our carriage will be waiting for me at 
Carstow, and I'll take the 'parcels on to Dering in it" 

Susan was not very clear about main lines and branches. But she 
knew the Vivian carriage sometimes went to the Carstow station. 

The train went off, leaving a very happy girl behind it, for George 
Vivian had bestowed a handsome ** Christmas box " on her. " As if 
Fd brought him a beautiful gift, instead of a trumpery botheration," 
she thought, turning a bright face on Joe Massey, who had now leisure 
to speak to her. 

" The Vivians are the right sort," said young Massey. "It's always 
a pleasure to me to see Mr. George's face up here. He used to be at 
this station a good bit two or three months ago, but I've not seen him 
lately. One time when I saw him here he was sending a party off by 
the Scotch express. A young lady it was." 

Joe Massey had to return to his duties, and Susan went back to the 

" Did you catch Mr. Vivian, Susan ? — ^and did he put my parcels 
among his own ? " asked her mistress. 

" Your parcels are in the carriage with him all right, ma'am," replied 
Susan. " Mr. Vivian had not any of his own ; at least, only one little 
black bag. He seemed quite pleased to take them; he was not in the 
least put about" 

Mary Anne, drawing at the table, sketched on silently. " Taking 
no parcels down ! " she thought to herself. " Who on earth was he 
buying those things for ? " 


SAM TOWNE'S tale. 

Ard then time went on, and the Grales returned to Dering, and Mrs. 
Grate had the pleasure of seeing her pretty paper views on many a 
cottage wall, and of smelling her cheap perfumes copiously exhaling 
isfsok dean handkerchiefs carried folded into the parish church. The 

22 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

pathos of Christmas and the fresh start of the New Year had alike 
gone by, and had not brought home Allan Grale. Neither had he 
been seen or heard of in London. 

Mrs. Grale pined and fretted in her furtive, helpless way ; but if she 
ever dropped a tear or said a word about Alny to her husband, he 
would not let her go on ; while Mary Anne, who really saw no particular 
cause for anxiety, assured her mother that Alny would come back at 
his own time as flourishing as a green bay tree. 

Mr. Grale never voluntarily spoke of his son. Mrs. Grale thought 
he was indifferent; that is, that he had no fears; she did not read the 
deepening furrows on his brow, and the thickening white in his hair 
correctly. " Men were different from women," she argued. **If they 
were left alone, they could bury things out of their sight — in time." 
She only wanted Alny. She could never have said, as his father did, 
even at the very first, " let him stay away." She was not at all sure 
whether he was not conniving at his son's absence — perhaps compel- 
ling him to prolong it She had a mother's hunger ; he had a father's 

Knowing nothing whatevei; of her husband's communications with 
the station master at Corrabuin, Mrs. Grale often wondered why she 
had no further word from the man. She threw out one or two hints 
to Mary Anne, who carelessly said that perhaps Allan had claimed the 
box. So, at last, Mrs. Grale made up her mind to write to the north 
herself, and say nothing about it to anybody. 

But of writing anything like a business letter Mrs. Grale had almost 
a superstitious dread. Letter-writing at all was a great trial to her. 
She had done as little of it as possible, thereby letting old ties and 
friendships die out It is difficult for people of cultivated minds and 
active habits to fully realise how trivial are the weights which drag 
down uneducated women, such as Mrs. Grale ; or how these poor 
women let their hearts break and their lives fall into ruin for want of 
some slight action which would be counted among the other's every 
day work. 

Mrs. Grale had put off writing that note of inquiry from day to day, 
and from week to week, always hoping that the morrow would bring 
news to make it unnecessary. But she braced herself at last to do it 
Remembering how promptly her first inquiries had been attended 
to, she was rather surprised when a whole week passed before any 
answer came from Corrabuin. 

And when it did arrive, it brought a bitterness of disappointment 
beyond anything she could have anticipated. It stated that the station 
master had died just before Christmas, and that his successor, the 
present official, could find no trace of any such box or telegram as she 
referred to. He thought they had probably been fetched away. They 
were certainly not in Corrabuin station now. 

As Mrs. Grale had gained her information secretly, so she had to 
adjust her ideas to it, in secret It certainly did seem as though 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 23 

Allan must have received his box and her telegram. If so, then surely 
she might infer that he was only carrying out some plans of his own 
staying away, and that he would come back some time. The hardest 
part of it all was, that he did not write. 

So Mr. and Mrs. Grale sat together at their fireside, each nursing 
an inward trouble, which they concealed from the othfer. It was 
impossible to say what Mr. Grale knew of his son, whether anything 
or nothing, and what he suspected or did not suspect He had never 
sought an interview with Edgar Vivian — ^as Dr. Palmer had 

" Why do you not do it ? " Dr. Palmer enquired of Mr. Grale, 
meeting him one day in a lane, shortly after his own interview with 
Edgar had taken place ; and Mr. Grale's face had darkened at the 

" It would be of no use," he answered. " I know human nature. He 
would deceive me where he could And where he could not tell what 
facts I had on my side, he would take refuge behind dead silence, in 
the name of his own honour and his loyalty to his absent friend. 
Honour ! Loyalty ! " Mr. Grale repeated each word with intense con- 
tempt and bitterness. 

" Look here. Doctor — ^it might bring danger if he spoke," went on 
Mr. Grale, dropping his voice to a low whisper and glancing over his 
shoulder to make sure they were alone. " Danger for himself and 
for Allan. He won't speak, and Allan keeps away for fear he should 
be made to do sa" 

Dr. Palmer wondered if this were true. It had struck him that, 
had he been in Edgar Vivian's place he should have sought out Mr. 
Giale of his own accord. 

As for the family at Dering Court, their existence was full of 
monotony. General Vivian was out of present danger, but he was a 
decrepit old man now. He had ceased to chide his nephews for not 
making due stand and mark in life. He only clung to them, liking 
them about him. It was a satisfaction to him to know they were in 
the same house with himself. Certainly Edgar gave him little other 
satisfaction, for he shut himself into the library and buried himself 
among his books with a diligence that must have brought honourable 
results, had he exercised it during his college career. But George 
was very good to his uncle — good with that tenderness which in sweet, 
weak natures is often the growth of a too tardy self-reproach. But, 
when the General was able to walk about the house again and to sun 
himself on the terrace, George began to hint that he should like to 
take a little change of scene — a sea-breeze, a mountain scramble. But 
the General objected ; and he entreated George piteously, almost 
tearfully, not to leave him — ^he was a poor old man — ^and nobody knew 
what a day might bring forth for such as he — and he could not 
trouble anybody long. George yielded without a murmur. 

" I only wish you were settled in life, my boy," said the General, 

24 The Mystery of Allan Gralc. 

dreamily. " Old people never feel quite sure about their juniors till 
that happens. I should like to see you safely settled before I goy 

" Am I not safely settled ? " George asked, rather wistfully. " Do 
you think, uncle, I shall ever dream of leaving this dear old place, 
or of changing it ? " 

" No, no," said the General, " not that. But I wish, George, that 
you had a wife." 

" And yet you might not approve of her, if she existed," George 

" I should not be hard to please," said the General. " I should 
not want fortune nor long descent, so long as she was a true lady, 
gently bred. And surely you could choose no other, George ? " 

" Men do make strange choices," said George, striving to speak 
lightly. He averted his face, gazing down the avenue, for they were 
seated on the terrace. " So many things occur to over-rule choice 

" That's nonsense," said the General " If young men are rash 
and foolish, they must look to pay the penalty. It would be hard to 
expect a good family to welcome a vulgar bride fresh from her daiiry^ 
or a girl out of a milliner's shop. Where one unequal marriage 
turns out well, twenty turn out badly, nothing but misery on both 
sides. Ill tell you of one that turned out well, George ; though 
there was trouble over that. My old friend, dead now, Randolph of 
Westerham, rashly married a gamekeeper's daughter ; quite a romance 
it was, and she was a pretty creature, but her grammar and her style 
of good looks were not those of Westerham Grange, and the marriage 
was kept secret till there came a baby boy. Young Randolph cunningly- 
contrived that in a year or two his father and mother should see the 
boy playing in one of the Westerham lanes, and he said to them (he 
was always clever), * Would you not like such a grandson ? ' and when 
they both cried out, * Yes, indeed we should,' he said, * Then, there 
he is,' and told the truth, and was forgiven on the spot" 

Mrs. Vivian had come up behind them. " You told your story so 
prettily, General," she said, " that I fear George might feel tempted 
to go and do likewise, only there is no romance left in young, people 
in these degenerate days. Do you know of any young lady who« 
married a footman, and was forgiven ? That would make a pretty 
companion -picture ! " 

The General did not answer, feeling that the question was only 
intended as a reproof. George asked presently : " What became of 
that young Mrs. Randolph ? " 

" Oh, they received her kindly at the Grange of course, under the 
circumstances. Though she did not live long, poor thing, and I dare> 
say it was as well But the family always spoke of her with respects 
Her son is the present squire." 

But, although the General would not spare his nephew to be away- 

The Mystery of Allan Grcde. 25 

for any lengthened period, George contrived to get a few days' 
absence more than once. On each of these occasions he went to 
Edinburgh, having previously written to someone in the far North to 
meet him there. 

Thus the weeks passed on, and the primroses and violets came out 
in the Bering lanes, and the trees were budding in the woods and 

It happened that about this time Dr. Palmer was in attendance 
upon John Brice, the former head gardener at the Court. The old 
man lived in one of the lodges, opposite to that occupied by the 
gate-keeper and his family. He had been suffering from a smart 
attack of pleurisy, but was getting the better of it. One evening at 
dusk, when he was sitting up by fire-light in .his easy chair, and Dr. 
' Palmer had called in and was chatting with him, Allan Grale's name 
chanced to be incidentally mentioned. 

Old Brice looked up suddenly. " He stays away a good time, sir, 
don't he ? " remarked he. 

" Pretty long," replied Dr. Palmer. 

" I — I suppose he's all right, sir ? " said the old man, hesitatingly. 

" I suppose so. All right in what way do you mean ? " 

" I've thought of it over and over again since he doesn't come 
back ; but — ^you remember that half-witted fellow, Sam Towne, who 
comes here by fits and starts trying to get work, don't you, sir ? " 
Brice broke off to ask. 

Dr. Palmer did remember. 

" Sam was about the neighbourhood last autumn, picking up a job 
at late harvesting, and what not. When that was over, he tried to 
get taken on by Mr. Grale's gardeners to help in the greenhouses. 
One evening he came striding over here, right into this room, sir, to 
tell me he had lost the chance, for somebody else had been engaged. 
It was a little time after Mr. Allan Grale went away." 

" Well ? " cried Dr. Palmer, looking at the speaker. 

" Perhaps talking of the Grales put him in mind of it, for he began 
telling me that one night, quite late, he had seen Mr. Allan and 
another gentleman at the Black Pool, having high words together. 
And he went on to say that they went on to blows, sir," continued 
Brice, after a slight pause ; " or, anyway, to scuffle with one another, 
and that the one jumped into the Pool, or was flung in, Towne couldn't 
be sure which, for the moonlight shone on the other side of the Pool, 
and this side was in the shade; but he thought the one was Mr. 

Dr. Palmer did not speak. He was recalling what Agnes had told 
him — that Miss Vivian feared Allan had committed suicide. 

"Towne said it frightened him out of his wits — as if the soft had 
any wits to be frightened out of ! — and he hid himself back amongst 
the trees. And the other gentleman made off, he said, and the one 
vas left drowning. Twas a curious tale, sir ! " 

26 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

" Very curious," assented Dr. Palmer. " Do you think Towne 
related it to anyone besides yourself, Brice ? " 

" No, sir, I don't — I'm pretty sure he didn't. The next morning I 
spoke of it to Stephen up at the Court, and to Miss Vivian's maid, who's 
always very friendly with me. I thought what a dreadful thing it 
would be for the Grales if it was true, and I hardly liked to keep it 
all to myself. But that same afternoon while I was at tea, down 
came Stephen here to tell me it was nothing but one of that poor 
Sam Towne's weak fancies, or perhaps he might have had a drop of 
drink in him at the time ; for that Mr. Allan Grale was safe and well 
in Scotland, and was writing letters to his folks at home. So I looked 
after Towne, and found him, and told him this, and I warned him 
never to repeat a word of his foolish tale if he didn't want to be had 
up for it and punished — and that scared him. He began to tremble, 
saying it must have been the fairies — who were always deceiving 

" Do you know where Towne is now ? " 

" No, sir ; I've never seen him since then. Whether it was the 
scare sent him, or that he couldn't find work, he went right off and 
away from Dering. But, Dr. Palmer " 

" Yes ? " said the Doctor, kindly, for the old man had stopped. 
" What is it ? " 

" Well sir," said Brice, in a tone that seemed to have borrowed 
something of Sam Towne's scare, " now that the time has gone on all 
this long while, months of it, and Mr. Allan does not come back, 
and there seems to be no signs of him near nor far, I get asking 
myself, sitting all alone here in the gloaming when thoughts are deep, 
whether Sam Towne's tale was true." 


(To be continued,) 



*' T DO not like it, Ronald. It is too great a giving up of all your 

•*• prospects for my sake." 

The speaker, very young and girlish<looking, was lying on a sofa, 
while close by, looking fondly and anxiously down on her, sat a tall, 
soldier-like man in imiform. They were a great contrast in every 
way. She was a little woman, very fair, with dark violet eyes, an 
abundance of golden brown hair, and an appearance of excessive 
fragility : which accoimted fully for the look of sadness mixed with 
love and protection, with which her husband was regarding her. He 
was very tall,* standing over six foot, and dark ; his hair and mous- 
tache were dark brown, and he had a pair of piercing dark grey eyes 
It was Captain Douglas. His expression was usually somewhat proud 
and stem ; but at this moment it was softened into one of almost 
womanly sweetness and tenderness. The regiment was unfortunately 

stationed at S , one of those spots of our foreign dependencies, 

where the climate is perniciously hot and enervating; and fears 
crossed him at times that it might be sapping away his wife's life. 

" My dear Blanche,'' was his answer, " there is no giving up of 
prospects in the case. I shall infinitely prefer exchanging into a 
regiment now at home. No one could possibly have been more 
vexed than I was when we were sent out to serve her Majesty in this 
delectable quarter of the globe. I should like to have exchanged 
then and there, only that would hardly have done. And as for 
prospects " 

He broke off here ; he had been about to say : " There are not 
loany prospects here, the chances are so slight of being called to 
active service." But he checked himself, remembering that what was 
the hope of his life, was the dread of his poor little wife's. 

" Prospects are quite as good, and better, in a healthier climate," 
he continued. *^ 1 have quite decided. I shall go to-day to the 
Colonel, and ask him to write the necessary application for me. And 
then, please God, when we get back to bonnie England, I shall see 
the roses on my Blanche's cheeks again, as they were a year ago, when 
I married her ! " 

"But, Ronald" — and a blush came over her pale cheeks, as a 
reminder of what the roses Aad been — " I could not go to England 
at present, could I ? " 

*'Not for the next two or three months. No, my dear, of course 
jott could not ; but as soon as possible after your confinement is over 
yoQ shall go. As Dr. Spencer says, the sea voyage and the change from 
this oven to a cool, healthy climate, will be the very thing to restore 

28 A Story of the Day. 

you to strength. So I have been thinking I had best make my 
arrangements at once, and get my application for an exchange sent 
off by the next mail." 

" Have you settled what regiment you will try to exchange into ? " 
she asked. 

" Yes. Into the — th," he answered. " I think it could be done 
without trouble. Ferrars is in it, and I know he is wild to get moved 
abroad, no matter where. The last I heard of his regiment it was 
quartered at Dover, and seemed likely to remain there. It would be 
the very place for you, Blanche ; the fresh breezes of the channel 
would soon bring back your roses, and " 

Captain Douglas was interrupted by the entrance of Dr. Spencer, 
who had looked in every few days to see Mrs. Douglas since her 
health began to fail. The Captain drew him aside when he was 
leaving, and told him what he had resolved upon. 

" I am heartily glad to hear it," said Dr. Sj)encer: " I do not 
hesitate to tell you that change of climate is the best hope for your 
wife's restoration, if not life. I should have ordered her to England 
long ago, had it not been that she so dreaded and shrank from the 
separation from you ; and I feared the fretting would do her more 
harm than the climate." 

" But she cannot travel until the child is bom, can she ? " 

" Of course not ; and you must not leave her here ; pray, bear 
that in mind, when arranging your exchange." 

" I know, I know. I should not think of leaving her. I shall send 
in my application at once. It will take some little time to arrange 
matters, and I can easily apply for a short leave, before joining another 
regiment. I want to be ready to take my wife home as soon as yoa 
shall say that it is safe for her to travel." 

The Doctor nodded. He was turning to depart, when Captain 
Douglas touched his arm to detain him : his voice trembled, and 
his eyes were dimmed, strong and brave man though he was, as he 
spoke the question he wished to put. 

" Tell me the truth. Doctor ; I would rather know it. Do yon 
think there is a reasonable hope that she will get through her trial 
safely ? " 

There was a pause, before Dr. Spencer answered, and when he did, 
a slight hesitation and want of confidence might have been observed 
in his tone. 

" Captain Douglas, I hope for the very best," he said. " I cannot 
conceal from you that there is some danger from the excessive weak- 
ness to which this climate has reduced her ; but on the other hand 
she is young, and it is in her favour that she is evidently very happy, 
and wishes with all her heart to live. I need hardly caution you," he 
continued, "to be most careful to keep every worry and annoyance 
from her, however slight; anything on her mind would be almost 
certainly fatal." 

A Story of the Day. 29 

The soldier's ikce, which had been wearing an expression of the 
deepest sadness, now for an instant lighted up with a happy, confident 
smile, as he readily promised obedience to the Doctor's mandate. 
Keep all worry from her, his almost idolized wife ? Aye, that would 
be indeed ; no need to press this upon him. 

A short year only had elapsed since he had made pretty Blanche 
Cameron his wife. She was an orphan, not without means of her 
own, but living with relations who understood her litde and cared for 
her less. She had never known what it was to have anyone who cared 
to enter into any of her pursuits, or to whom she could confide her 
best thoughts and feelings, until she met Ronald Douglas. Their 
friendship quickly ripened into love on both sides, and after a short 

engagement she became his wife, and went out with him to S , 

to which place his regiment had just been ordered. 

I have not space here to tell how happy their married life was ; 
how, after her lonely, neglected past, she valued his devotion and per- 
fect sympathy, his unfiling courtesy ; nor of how she returned his 
love, and strove to make his home happy. Their life was almost an 
ideal one, in its perfect confidence and affection. But alas, there was 
one trial from which all Ronald's care and devotion could not save 
ber. Her health, which hitherto had been fairly good, though never 

robust, failed : she could not stand the enervating climate of S ; 

and, as we have heard from Dr. Spencer, the choice lay between 
sending her away from the husband who was all on earth to her, or 
allowing her to remain in a climate that was almost killing her. This 
bad now ended in her husband having made up his mind to exchange 
if possible into a regiment stationed at home. 

Captain Douglas lost no time. That same evening he went to 
his Colonel, with the intention of asking him to write the necessary 
application for leave to exchange. He found Colonel Deane at home, 
and in a few words made him acquainted with his errand. The 
Colonel expressed regret at the prospect of losing him from the regi- 
ment, in which he was a general favourite, both with officers and men, 
but quite agreed with the motives which had led him to come to this 
decision, and did not hesitate to comply with his request 

"Let me see," he said, speaking rapidly, "this is the i ith, the mail 
goes out on the 13th. I will write this letter to-day, Douglas, and 
if you will come down here to-morrow afternoon with two of your 
brother officers, in whose presence you will have to sign the necessary 
declaration that your motive for wishing to exchange is nothing 
affecting your honour, I will then have my letter ready for your en- 

ctosure. And I heartily hope the change may completely restore 

Mrs. Douglas to health, though we shall miss you both greatly." 

Ronald warmly thanked his Colonel, and took his leave. He did 
not then go in search of any of his brother officers, as the hour was 
getdng late, and he knew Blanche would be nervous if left too long 
alone; he therefore hastened home, and found his wife somewhat 

30 A Story of the Day. 

stronger than usual. He told her what he had done, or rather -ttzs 
about to do on the following day, and they talked for some time, 
planning their future life in dear old England, when Blanche should 
be restored to health and strength. 

"I cannot help feeling grieved, though, Ronald," she said, "to 
think my health should oblige you to alter all your plans. I seem to 
fall so far below my own ideal of what a soldier's wife should be." 

" And may I ask, little woman, what that ideal is ? " he enquired, 
with an amused smile. " Then perhaps I can tell you if you fall so 
very far short of it" 

" She should be always a help to her husband, never a hindrance," 
replied Blanche. " She should never allow private feeling to inter- 
fere with his duty ; for as it is her husband's duty to put the honour 
of his sovereign and country before all earthly consideratiohs, even 
before those of the closest earthly ties, so she, being one with him, 
should do likewise." 

" Anything more ? " 

" Yes. If he has to encounter privation, hardship, or danger, in 
the pursuit of his calling, her voice should be the first to uige him 
onwards ; and under no circumstance should she seek by we^ mur- 
murs to withhold him from the smallest particle of his duty as a 
soldier. I think that a wife should always identify herself with the 
spirit of her husband's profession, whatever it be ; therefore to a 
soldier's wife, the watchwords of her life should be * Honour, duty, and 
obedience ! ' " 

" Well done, Blanche ! " said Ronald, looking admiringly at her, 
as the colour came into her cheeks, and her eyes sparkled with 
enthusiasm. " And, my child," he added, " I don't think you fall fer 
short of your ideal." 

" Oh, Ronald, I fear I do ! A soldier's wife should be brave at 
heart ; while I — I feel I should be a very coward, if — ^if " 

She could not finish her speech, or speak her meaning aloud. 
Neither was there any need for it. Ronald knew well what, in spite 
of her brave words, was the dread of her life, as it must be that of 
every soldier's wife. 

He turned the conversation into a less exciting topic, and presently- 
made her go to her room. Then he strolled out before the house to 
enjoy a cigar, and think over what had to be done on the morrow. 
That it was a bitter disappointment to himself to settle down at home 
into an inactive life was nothing ; his wife was, and always would be, 
his first consideration. 

At the appointed hour on the morrow afternoon he was again at 
Colonel Deane's; the two officers to whom he had applied, Major 
Carruthers and Captain Ainslie, following close upon him. When 
the Colonel appeared his face wore a look of concern. 

" Douglas, my dear fellow," he said, " I am so sorry to have misled 
you. We reckoned yesterday, you know, that the mail went out to- 

A Story of the Day. 31 

morrow, but in £u:t it is this evening that it goes out. I cannot think 
how I came to make such a mistake." 

They smiled inwardly. No man in the regiment, except the 
ColcHiel, could have made it ; for the coming in and going out of the 
mails was the one break in their monotonous life, eagerly looked forward 
to and calculated upon ; but the absent-mindedness of Colonel Deane 
was amusing, and always allowed for. 

" I knew the mail came in to-day from England — and, by the way, 
my letters and papers are this minute delivered — ^but I'm sure I thought 
to-morrow was the day it went out," continued the Colonel. " Will 
a week's delay matter much to you, Douglas ? " 

"There need not be any delay. Colonel," answered Captain 
Douglas. " There's plenty of time to write the application and post 
it by this evening's mail, if you have no objection." 

" Is there ? Well, let us get to it then," said the relieved Colonel. 
" My letter is already written." 

The business was soon finished, for Colonel Deane was anxious to 
get to his letters and see what news the mail had brought him. Ronald's 
signature, and those of his two brother officers, were affixed to the 
document which was to accompany the Colonel's letter, and the whole 
was sealed in readiness. 

" Shall I send it to the post with my own despatches ? " said the 
Colonel, in good nature ; and Douglas thanked him and acquiesced. 

The three young men then wished Colonel Deane good evening, 
and went out together. " I am awfully sorry we are going to lose you, 
old fellow," remarked Major Carruthers. " I suppose it is on account 
of Mrs. Douglas's health." 

"Yes ; entirely. Otherwise I should never have thought of leav- 
ing the dear old regiment, for I love it heartily, and sincerely wish I 
bad at least once been called on to fight for its colours before I left 

" Aye, yes ; no doubt. Well, it's a great pity." 

As Major Carruthers spoke, he was opening a newspaper which he 
had taken from his pocket, remarking that he had not yet read a word 
of news, for the letters were only delivered to him as he was coming 

" I say, Douglas," he exclaimed, after glancing at the paper for a 
minute in silence, " Did I see on your papers — I hardly took it in — 
that the regiment you wish to exchange into is the — th ? " 

"Yes," replied Captain Douglas. " Why do you ask ? " 

" Well, I — I was wondering whether you know that it is ordered 
out to Egypt ? — It says so here," touching his Times, 

" Says what ? I don't understand." 

"The — th, which you have applied to join, is under orders for 
Egypt," repeated the Major, speaking gravely. " I was thinking of 
Mis. Douglas. You will have to go straight to Egypt" 

*• Ordered to Egypt — what to the relief of Khartoum and all the 

32 A Story of the Day. 

rest of it ! " gleefully cried Captain Ainslie, who was a young, un- 
married officer, full of spirit and daring. " Oh, Douglas, you are in 
luck I Don't I wish I had had the chance ! Of all expeditions, one 
to rescue that glorious man, Gordon, would be the most to my taste." 

A warning glance from the Major checked his ill-timed excitement. 
He was a husband himself, and understood better than the young 
and thoughdess fellow the struggle which must be taking place in 
Ronald Douglas's breast. 

They parted then, for Captain Douglas wished them good day 
somewhat abruptly. 

" Why, what has come over Douglas ? " cried the younger man to 
the Major, when they were alone. " I should have thought he, of all 
men in the regiment, would have been overjoyed at the prospect of see- 
ing active service, and we all know what a hero Gordon is to him. 
Did you see how he looked ? Surely he cannot be showing the white 
feather ? " 

" The white feather ! " was the other's indignant reply. " How dare 
you mention such a thing in connection with Douglas ? Every one of us 
knows, or ought to know, that his courage is dauntless and his honour 
unsullied. But do you forget that he almost idolizes his young wife, 
and that she is in so precarious a state of health that the news of to- 
night may possibly be her death blow ? " 

"I never thought of that," replied Ainslie, repenting his hasty 
words. " What do you think he will do ? He is not absolutely pledged 
in honour to join the — th, is he ? " 

The Major screwed up his lips. " I cannot say; it is a nice point ; 
but, whatever may be his decision, /, for one, shall be sure that it is 
good and honourable." 

In the meanwhile, poor Ronald Douglas was going towards home, 
a chaos of thoughts whirling in his brain ; of which perhaps the 
only one standing out in a distinct shape was, that he must hurry back 
to Blanche, who might, and probably would, have already made the 
discovery — for she was sure to have opened some of the newspapers 
just delivered. In her weak state, it would certainly throw her into a 
fearful state of agitation. 

And /te must soothe her — ^but how ? By telling her that he would 
give up the idea of joining the — th ? — ^that there might be yet time 
to get back his letter from the Colonel before it was posted — that he, 
Ronald Douglas, whose whole heart lay in his profession, who had all 
an English soldier's horror of the merest semblance of cowardice or 
dishonour, would tell his Colonel he wished to give up the regiment 
he had fixed upon, because it was ordered to the rescue of one ofthe 
noblest souls that England ever knew, of one who was his own ideal of 
all that was best and noblest on earth — ^at once the truest Christian and 
bravest soldier this age has known — the saintly and heroic Gordon ? 
Ifow could he do this ? 

But was there not another side to the picture ? Words that he 

A Story of the Day. 33 

had heard but the previous day from Dr. Spencer rang in his ears : 
" Any worry or annoyance would be almost certainly fatal j you must 
keep all such from her/' 

His Blanche ! his fondly-loved wife, whom he had vowed before 
heaven to love and cherish : could he now, when her need of him was 
sorest ; when the claim on his love and care which her impending ill- 
ness alone would have given her — could he leave her to cruel suspense 
and anguish in the knowledge that he had gone forth to stand at the 
battle's front, before the cannon's mouth ? — and so kill her, as it 
would do ! Was this the way he would keep those vows made to her 
but one short year ago ? But, still — his duty, his honour — which way 
did it call him ? Captain Douglas pressed his hand to his brow, and 
wondered whether ever man had been called upon to make so grievous 
a decision. 

He had reached home now, and, for the first time since they were 
married, dreaded to find himself in his wife's presence. 

One thing was clear to him ; he must not harass her with his 
doubts. His first words to her must either be light words of com- 
fort and encouragement in the trial in store for them ; or else those 
of assurance that, come what may, he would not leave her. In the 
latter case he must never let her see him cast a backward glance of 
regret, though he himself felt that the sense of gnawing shame and 
humiliation would never leave him, even though he might have the 
opportunity at some future time 

But no, no ; he could not even for Blanche's sake do this thing I 
How could he face the half-veiled sneers of his brother officers? 
What would his brave Colonel think, he who himself had fought 
shoulder to shoulder with Gordon in the Crimea ? Could he let the 
shade of dishonour taint his dead father's name — he, a Douglas ; a 
member of one of the oldest and proudest families of North Britain, 
who counted descent from him who fell fighting by his King's side at 
Flodden ? 

It was impossible. Yet — his bonnie Blanche; his loving little wife; 
who had only him to cling to in all the world ; who never failed, how- 
ever weak and ill she might be, to have a sweet smile and cheerful 
word for him ! Was /us hand to be the one to 

As his step was heard, entering, the English maid whom Blanche 
had brought out with her came forward. " My mistress wishes to 
see you directly, sir." 

She knew then ; the blow had fallen ! He turned and went to her 
at once, his decision still unmade. He found her standing facing 
the door, with a face white as marble, but somehow more serene 
and composed than his. All at once she smiled ; and the smile was 
infinitely more touching than tears would have been. Clinging to 
him she spoke : 

"Ronald, I know what you have to tell me.'' 

" You know it, Blanche ? " 


34 A Story of the Day. 

"Yes, I saw it announced here," pointing to the open paper 
which lay on the table. " And, Ronald," she added, quite firmly, 
though very low, " I will not make your duty harder for you by my 
weakness. I knuna you must go, and I will not seek to hold you 
back. I fear I was very wrong at first when I read it ; it was a shock, 
an awful shock, Ronald ; and I do not know what you will think of 
me, dear, for I felt tempted to implore you to give it up, and fix on 
some other regiment; but I soon remembered you could not in 
honour do such a thing. And then I recalled our conversation of only 
yesterday ; and I knew that the time had now come for me to prove 
that my words were not mere words — ^a vain boast and nothing else." 

He clasped her in his arms, whispering : "Well done, my Blanche ! 
you are the right stuff for a soldier's wife." And the strong man felt 
that his delicate, timid wife had been nobler and stronger than he ; 
though, perhaps, the temporary weakness of the one and the unusual 
strength of the other came from the same source : that one great 
power, stronger than all ambition, yet overcoming the weakest woman's 
fears — ^love. " Love strong as death, love which casts out self." 

The harrowing details of the parting must be passed over. I fear 
many a wife has such details only too fresh upon her mind. It came 
all too soon, that parting — for in these days momentous orders are 
flashed over the world by telegram. Blanche held up bravely to the 
last, her parting words to her husband being in answer to what she 
knew were his unspoken fears. 

" Ronald, please God, I will try my very utmost to live, for your 

But when, a few minutes later, Doctor Spencer came in, as he pro- 
mised Captain Douglas to do, he found her stretched senseless on the 

Neither will the details of that campaign be told here, and indeed 
it needs it not; for who does not know, almost by heart each stirring 
scene in the sad history ? 

Ronald Douglas was in Stewart's column, and fought under him 
in the tiny square at Abu KUea, where 1,500 of our men routed 10,000 
of the enemy ; and again at Metemmeh, where the gallant commander 
fell, pierced with what proved to be his death wound — ^fell, like a 
worthy follower of him they were seeking to save, in the performance 
of an act of thoughtful kindness and consideration for those fighting 
under him. And then Douglas was among the little band who went 
on with Sir Charles Wilson to the very gates of Khartoum, to find 
they had arrived, alas, too late. 

All was over. Deprived of the steamers, which it had been the 
last crowning act of Gordon's unselfish life to send away from him, 
for the sake of others, in his sorest need, he had fallen by wicked 
treachery ; and, while this world should last, the eye of mortal man 
would never look on Gordon again I 


A Story of the Day, 35 

But for Riany days we knew it not. Hope lingered in all hearts, 
only to be dispelled. And at length the truth forced itself on us all, 
that surely and truly, though we may never know for certain how, or 
by whose hand, that gallant man had fallen, and alone. With none of 
his own race or faith near him, the mart>T-hero had gone to meet his 

Time passed. Not so very long subsequent to that tragedy, 
Captain Douglas was wounded in the arm ; not dangerously, but 
enough to disable him from taking any further present share in the 
campaign. An attack of fever supervened, sufficiently grave to 
cause the doctors to order him home as soon as he should be fit 
to traveL 

During all this while he had received many letters both of and 
from his wife At first from her ; letters written in a strain of cheerful, 
loving hope. Then came a day he never forgot, when a telegram 
arrived for him, from Dr. Spencer, and at the sight he, who could 
&ce the enemy's fiercest fire steadily and unmoved, trembled like a 
weak woman. 

It proved, however, to contain these words : " All well over ; no 
cause for alarm." 

This was followed by one or two more, all to the same cheering 
effect ; and, in due course, by a letter from Mrs. Deane, the Colonel's 
wife, telling Ronald about his little son, and that Mrs. Douglas was 
far better than could have been expected. Though very weak, she 
was bearing up well, was brave and hopeful. 

Almost before it was quite prudent. Dr. Spencer sanctioned the 
departure of Mrs. Douglas for England. He was anxious to get her 
away from that enervating climate ; and she was anxious to travel 
under the escort of an officer who was going home on leave with 
his wife. The voyage did her no harm, and they arrived in safety. 

It was about four o'clock in the afternoon of a day in this present 
year, that a fly stopped before the door of a house in a healthy sea- 
side resort in old England. 

The occupant, a young man with one arm in a sling, but otherwise 
healthy-looking, for he had picked up wonderfully during his home- 
coming, leaped out of the fly and knocked at the door ; asking as soon 
as it was opened for Mrs. Douglas. 

"This way, sir," said the servant; and, leading him through the 
hall, she opened the door of a drawing-room, and lefl him in it with 
his wife and child 

Blanche was standing with her baby in her arms, dressed in white, 
a soft lace cap with a pale blue ribbon-tnmming on her pretty, 
golden brown hair. She was painfully thin, though her eyes sparkled, 
^d her cheeks, for the moment at least, were lit up as by a bright, 
<^inson n)se. In one bound he crossed the room. 


36 A Story of the Day. 

" Ronald 1 " 

And in those words, spoken together, each seemed to tell the story 
of what these months of separation and anxiety had been ; and in 
that moment Blanche felt repaid a thousand-fold for her noble 
sacrifice and for all her suffering, as she held their child up for its 
father's first kiss. It was indeed one of those moments when this 
earth seems lit by a ray from Eden, by a foretaste of paradise ! But, 
oh, may a merciful Heaven help those wives of our Soudan heroes, 
Bumaby, Earle, Eyre, Stewart, and others, for whom such a meeting 
never came. 

" You had him christened before you started, Blanche," observed 
Ronald, as they were at length soberly sitting down. 

" Yes, dear. I should like to have waited for you ; l)ut I could not 
bring him away without it." 

" Of course not. What have you named him ? " 

" I have named him," she answered, smiling, "after my two greatest 
heroes : the names I thought worthiest to go together — * Ronald 
Gordon.' " 

He smiled. " My child, you attach more honour to me than I 
deserve. But I am glad you have called the boy after that good and 
brave man." 

"Oh, Ronald, if you could have brought him back!" she exclaimed. 
" It seems so piteous, his dying all alone, and being buried we know 
not where ! I used to like to picture with what enthusiasm he would 
be received in England — ^what honours his Queen and country would 
lavish on him ! " 

" True, my love," answered Ronald, gravely, " it is most sad, most 
piteous. But for our comfort let us remember that he was one who 
hated and shrank from all earthly honours, and we cannot doubt that 
ere now he has been amply rewarded for his 'faithfulness unto death;' 
and that, though his body lies we know not where in the lonely desert, 
yet that his grand, unselfish soul is resting after his untiring toil." 

" * Where loyal hearts and true stand ever in the light, 
All raptare through and through, in God's most holy sight, ' " 

breathed Mrs. Douglas. 

There was silence between them for a few minutes, and then Ronald 
spoke in a lighter tone. 

" If our child had been a girl, Blanche, and you had called it 
Blanche Gordon, I think it would have been a worthier coupling of 
names than the other is." 

She blushed with mingled pleasure and humility. 

" Ronald, for shame ! How can you compare fM, your foolish 
little wife, to General Gordon ! Why I am afraid of everything, from 
a big dog to a black beetle." 

" I compare you for this reason, Blanche : that, as I take it, the 
key note to all Gordon's heroism was his complete self-abnegation ; 

A Story of the Day. 37 

and I think I saw a worthy imitation of that spirit a few months ago, 
when my wife, in her hour of utmost weakness and need of me, was 
the one to send me from her to my duty." 

'* Ah, Ronald, you never knew Uien how I wavered, how I came 
into your presence that night in so miserable a state of indecision, 
that oft^ word from you would have led me to fall from what I felt to 
be my duty. And if I had done so, I do not think I should ever have 
known an hour's happiness again." 

" And now," he added, kissing her fondly and reverently, " let me 
thank you, my own true wife and help-meet, for having helped^ not 
hindered me in duty's path. I hope, and think, that by your example 
and influence, we may lead our boy to follow in the footsteps of him 
for whom all England mourns ; for it is to mothers like you, Blanche, 
brave through their perfect unselfishness, that we must look, to train 
up for us sons like Gordon." 

Mary Doveton Hodges. 


(Words for Music.) 

Wake not, ah, wake not, voices of my playtime, 

Echoes that slumber, music that is gone 
Blossom and bud not, branches of the May-time 

Changes that change not, as the years run on ! 

Vain, ah, in vain ! While forward pressing ever. 
Fain would I close the past that lies behind, 

Candid and cold, the Spring-time lights discover 
Buds on old boughs, old tones upon the wind. 

Eyes, ah, sad eyes, strain on into the distance. 
Turn not to gaxe o'er the fair scene outspread ; 
Ears, though ye catch the old sweet sound's insistance, 
Heed not the dead past singing o'er its dead ! 

There are glad eyes for every bud's new setting, 
Ears fain to hear gay Fancy's voice beguile. 

Ah, give me but a rest and a forgetting. 
Till I can face Remembrance with a smile. 

G. B. Stuart. 



T^HAT in the face of so many well authenticated fiicts respecting 
^ supernatural agency, anyone can be found to doubt its existence^ 
seems surprising. But the fear of being ridiculed as weak-minded 
doubdess prevents many people from acknowledging what in their heart 
of hearts they really believe. 

. The subject of apparitions, of unaccountable noises, and the like, 
which has lately occupied more than usual attention, is one which 
must always remain a mystery, while we are in this state of existence. 

That the departed have appeared to the living we have an authentic 
proof, handed down to us from St. MattheVs account of our Lord's 
crucifixion, when — "The graves were opened, and many bodies of 
the saints which slept arose, and went into the holy city, and appeared 
unto many." In other passages of Scripture spiritual appearances are 
spoken of — ^notably that -of Samuel, raised by the witch of Endor. 

That it is not given to all people — indeed, but to very few, speaking 
comparatively — to see or hear the supernatural, is a fact not to be 
disputed. But those to whom the gift (can it be called so ?) is given, 
could relate experiences which have occurred to them at different 
times throughout their lives. 

In the winter of i86 — , business called me to London from the 
West of England. The weather was anything but inviting : dark, 
dismal days, dense fogs, and drizzling rain. I hoped to combine 
some little pleasure with business, by paying a few visits to friends. 

The first days of my stay in town were to be spent in Wimpole 
Street, Cavendish Square. 

A rising medical man and his wife had just moved from a house in 
that same street to one higher up, in which every thing had still 
to be arranged, but they bagged me to go to them all the same. 

Upon my arrival in London in the afternoon, I had to go straight 
to a lawyer's office, and was there two hours ; so that on reaching 
Wimpole Street I was tired and weary. But when my good host and 
his wife came forward with their warm welcome, and I saw the cheer- 
ful fires and bright lights in the still unsettled rooms, and presently 
sat down to the well-served dinner, I forgot all my fatigue and felt 
fully renovated. We had much to chat about, mutually recalling past 
associations and imparting later news ; and it was ihidnight ere we 
retired to rest. 

I must confess that my first impressions of the house were not 
favourable. To me there seemed to be an indescribable gloom 

* The Author vouches for the absolute truth and correctness of the facts 
recorded in this paper. 

On ih^ Su^^ruaiufd. J9 

pervading almost every part of it — which the bright and tasteful 
decorations and new furniture did not serve to dispeL The chamber 
which I was to occupy — the only available one in this transition state 
of affiurs — ^was that intended for the little daughter of the house, when 
things should have settled themselves. It was situated at the end of 
a veiy long corridor : and the corridor, as I went down it, struck upon 
me with more gloom than anything had yet done. Close to the door 
of this, my room, shut in by another door, was a staircase ; leading, 
I found, to other apartments above. 

The room was not yet fully furnished. The head of the bed, a 
small one, was near the window, the right side of it being against 
the wall which separated this room from what was to be the guest- 
chamber : a room which as yet was empty. I undressed quickly and 
got into bed. 

But scarcely had I lain down, before I was conscious of some un- 
seen presence — and of a heavy breathing, or panting, close to my ear. 
Not a little alarmed, I quickly turned my head in the direction of 
the sounds, in order to discover whence they proceeded — ^when they 
instantly appeared to be on the opposite side of me. 

Springing out of bed I lighted my candle and looked about. I 
examined the bed ; there was nothing in or about it I examined the 
room, every comer of it ; the cupboard ; underneath the bed, every 
where. £ven the chimney, I looked up and searched. What I 
thought was that some domestic animal of the house, a cat or a dog, 
might have been shut into the room unseen. But no ; there was no- 
thing. All this time the loud breathing had continued ; now in this 
part of the room, now in that ; and once or twice so close to me that 
it seemed as though I felt the breath upon my cheek. 

After another thorough search, with no result, I came to the lame 
conclusion that the sounds must proceed from outside the door, and 
that the room must possess some unusual and extraordinary properties 
for the reproduction of sound. Feeling completely chilled, I again got 
into bed — but not to sleep. 

No sooner had I laid my head on the pillow, than there arose a 
noise in the next room, the empty room intended for the future guest- 
chamber. It was as if a long whip were being flicked on the bare 
boards; and then the most awful groans I ever heard appeared to 
proceed from the room over head, as from some one in mortal agony. 
This alarmed me more than I can express, and I knew not what to 
do, for I was unwilling to disturb my friends. How long the groans 
continued I cgnnot tell ; I only know that I lay in distress and terror, 
vainly trying to imagine some plausible cause for it. As they subsided, 
an idea struck me that possibly the room over head might be occupied 
by one or two of the maids, whose beds might be on the floor until 
bedsteads could be put up, that one of them had been taken ill 
and that the groans came from her. I tried to think this. And so I 
lay shivering until the day began to dawn, when I fell asleep. 

40 On the SupernaturaL 

When the housemaid brought the hot water in the morning, I 
enquired who had slept in the next room. " No one, ma'am," was the 
reply. " It is to be the spare room, but it is not yet furnished." 

" Who occupies the next house ? " I said again. 

" It is unoccupied," was the girFs answer : " it is to be let." 

** Does anyone sleep in the room over this ? " I next continued. 

" No, ma*am, not yet," said the maid. " We are all at sixes and 
sevens, you see, just for a day or two, but the rooms will soon be in 

I made no further remark to her. But on going down to breakfast 
and being asked how I had slept, I related the foregoing circum- 

" Oh ! a haunted chamber," said my host, laughing, " without doubt, 
a haunted chamber." 

" Haunted or not haunted," I replied, " you will not find me sleep- 
mg there again ; therefore you must pardon me if I leave you this 
evening instead of on Saturday." They thought I was joking : but I 
assured them I was in earnest. 

" What," said the Doctor, a merry twinkle in his eye, " do you mean 
to confess you are going to be frightened away from us by ghosts and 
goblins ? " 

" Yes — but I am very sorry for it." 

" Nonsense," he continued. " The noises you heard must have 
proceeded from M." (his little daughter). " Children do make queer 
noises sometimes, and scream frightfully if awakened suddenly from 

I shook my head. 

" I assure you when M. is not well she does make a most un- 
earthly noise — ^and I thought her feverish last night. Why, you surely 
-would never leave us for such a bagatelle as that ! If you hear any- 
thing to-night, just come and knock at my door." 

All this sounded plausible, if not convincing. Still it did seem 
rather an insufficient reason for leaving. Moreover, I must be pre- 
pared to be laughed at by my friends at Carlton Road, to whom I 
-was going next ; so I said I would remain. As to the chamber, in the 
<lay time it seemed as quiet a room as could be. 

The second night I thought it best to retire in good time, so as to 
be, if possible, asleep before the Doctor and his wife went to their room; 
and I did so, making fatigue my excuse. 

I undressed without any interruption, and not only lay down in bed 
without any repetition of the breathing or other noises of the previous 
night, but was actually asleep by half-past ten o'clock. 

I was not destined to remain long in peace. At midnight the 
same dreadful breathing close to my ear aroused me, not only from 
my comfortable and much-needed sleep, but also to a consciousness 
of my folly in having allowed myself to be talked into venturing to 
spend another night in that room. 

On the SupernaturaL 41 

Rising immediately, with the intention of calling my friends, I was 
just at the point of putting my hand on the handle of the door, when 
the most terrific shriek I ever heard in my life rang through the long 
corridor. Immediately after, apparently close outside my room, there 
was a noise as of two people in deadly struggle — which ended in both 
appearing to fall together against the door. 

Never shall I forget the thrill of horror which ran through me at 
that moment Rushing forward — for I had drawn back in fear — to 
turn the key against them, I stood almost paralysed ; lest, failing in 
my nervousness to lock the door at once, the attention of those out- 
side should be attracted. My fears of the supernatural had changed 
into other fears — I thought there were thieves in the house. So I 
stayed cowering where I was, hardly daring to breathe. What the 
mortal terror of that moment was I cannot write. 

To bed I could not return ; the heavy breathing still followed me 
about the room. Lighting a second night-light in addition to the 
one already alight, and putting one on each end of the mantel-piece, 
I dressed myself, moved the dressing-table from the window, drew up 
the blind, and sat shivering until half-past six o'clock the next morning, 
when day was just beginning to dawn. 

The dreary monotony of that fearful night, only broken every hour 
by the measured step of the almost invisible policeman going his 
rounds, to whom more than once I felt almost irresistibly impelled to 
call— can never be forgotten. My head was constantly turned in the 
direction from whence the breathing came, expecting every moment 
to see^ as well as hear. But that, I am thankful to say, I ^'as 

In the morning I told my friends, as before, what had happened, 
and also repeated my determination not to spend another night in that 
room, at which the Doctor only laughed, professing to believe all to be 
the result of my imagination. But his wife looked grave. 

The business which had called me to London detained me nearly 
the whole of that day in the City, and it was almost six o'clock before 
I returned to Wimpole Street, tired and chilled, and by no means 
desiring to change my quarters that night. 

After dinner I held to my resolve of leaving them, and going at 
once to my other friends at Carlton Road, Kilbum. The Doctor 
laughed more than ever, and declared that he would not hear of my 
leaving them for so ridiculous a reason. He appealed to my bravery 
and strength of mind ; but I told him that another night passed in 
that room would jeopardise my senses. 

" Well, look here," said he at length ; " you shall sleep with M." — 
his wife — " you cannot, I am sure, object to stay on these terms ! " 

" Very well," I replied, " to that I consent willingly — provided the 
room you take shall be the one I have slept in these two nights." 

"Oh, to be sure," he answered, gaily; "I'll take the haunted 
chamber. In fact, I've no choice ; for there's not any other ready." 

42 On the Supernatural. 

So I remained, not at all sorry to escape turning out that bitterly 
cold night But even under the new arrangement, rest in that house 
for me was out of the question after my late experience. 

In the morning, Mr& went to the room at my request, to 

enquire of her husband hovr he had slept. Not at all, he answered 
her ; there had been most extraordinary noises throughout the 
night, which he believed proceeded from the water-pipes. But as I 
had never known water-pipes to breathe, shriek, or wrestle, I did not 
accept his solution of the mystery. 

The Doctor did not make his appearance at breakfast. The 
servant in waiting said her master had taken a cup of tea in haste, 
and was gone out to see a patient But I strongly suspected he had 
gone out to avoid meeting me, and the questions I should have been 
sure to put to him. 

I had to be out again on my way to the lawyer's before he 
returned; and the subject was never after alluded to between us. 
But when I was leaving, in the afternoon, and he had again gone out, 
his wife spoke to me. 

"I will candidly tell you," she said, "that the servants say they 
hear all sorts of noises, and that they are quite sure the house is 
haunted ! Of course, we are not supposed to believe it, and, therefore, 
only laugh at their stories." 

" Were I you I should leave the house," I said. 

" We cannot," she answered, shaking her head. " Unhappily we 
have taken a lease of it, and had carpets and other furniture made to 
fit it. We must remain in it" 

And remain in it they did, for several years. Though how they 
could do so is to me a marvel ; for, apart from all this, it is the 
most gloomy and depressing house possible to conceive. Perhaps 
they shut that room up : I don't know. 

About twenty years have elapsed now since the occurrence of 
what I have related, yet it is all as fresh in my memory as though it 
had taken place but yesterday. I have simply stated the facts as 
they occurred, without exaggeration of any kind, adhering only to the 
strict truth. 

As before remarked, most people profess to look upon a belief in 
anything supernatural as a positive weakness : but I am perfectly 
satisfied in my own mind of a very close connection between the seen 
and the unseen, and that the disturbances in that house were wholly 
due to supernatural causes. Unhappily it has not been my only 

Some years later I was staying at Ilfracombe, and while there 
received a letter from one of my sisters, who was then abroad, telling 
me of the serious illness of her husband. 

He was a fine, strong man of upwards of six feet, of whose life 
anyone would have taken a lease. His was one of those bright and 
genial natures one delights to meet, full of kindness and sympathy, 

On the SupernaturaL 43 

always ready to study the wishes of others rather than his own : 
and who carried sunshine with him wherever he went. 

A short time after the receipt of the letter, I had just stepped into 
bed one night, and was in the act of lying down, when I heard the 
low, distinct, steady step as of a large man advancing towards my 
door, and stop on the mat outside. 

As we were the only lodgers, and there was no man whatever in 
the house, and I knew that everybody was in bed, I felt rather 
alarmed ; for the door, contrary to my usual custom, was not locked. 
I sat up for a minute or two, quite still, my eyes fixed on the door 
handle, expecting every moment to see it turn, and someone walk in; 
but there was no further sound outside. I got out of bed, opened 
the door, and looked out. Nothing, however, was to be seen but the 
darkness of the passage ; and the stillness of death seemed to reign 
throughout the house. 

Closing the door more quickly than I had opened it, and taking 
care this time to lock it, I again retired to bed, but only to be kept 
awake until daylight by a succession of the most unaccountable 
noises it is possible to conceive ; noises so significant that each 
seemed to articulate its own special message, in a way which none 
can understand but those who have gone through similar ex- 

I had never passed such a night, with the exception of those two 
nights in Wimpole Street ; and trust I may never pass such 

In the morning the circumstances were entered in my diary ; and 
when a letter, announcing the death of my brother-in-law, reached 
me, I referred to them. I was startled to find that he died the very 
same night ; and, as far as could be judged, allowing for the difference 
of time, at the very hour when I had heard the steps approaching my 

The following was told me by his widow, three or four years 

Like many who have lived much abroad, my sister is a great advo- 
cate for open doors and plenty of fresh air, and consequently always 
sleeps with her bedroom door wide open. 

Her only litde daughter slept in a cot beside her mother's bed ; 
and one night — or rather morning, for it was almost two o'clock a.m. 
: — ^my sister was aroused by hearing a man enter her room, and walk 
straight to the dressing-table. It was quite dark, and as she never 
bums a light she was unable to s^e anything. 

Gready alarmed, thinking it was a buxglar and anxious to hear a 
sound, even of the child's voice, she said, scarcely above a whisper, 
not knowing whether the litde thing was awake or not : " Will Florrie 
come into mamma's bed ? " 

Instandy, ami without uttering a wordy the child bounded into her 
mother's bed, where she lay trembling in her arms, much alarmed 

44 On the Supernatural. 

evidently, and apparently unable to get over her tremor or to go to 
sleep. Neither mother nor child spoke a word ; but when the day 
began to dawn the little one said : " Mamma, I did hear that man come 
into the room and go to the dressing-table." Her mother had never 
said a word about what she had heard, nor as to why she had asked 
her whether she would go into her bed. 

Certain it is that there was no burglar in the house, and it is im- 
possible that what I have related could be due to any other than the 

Two very singular occurrences took place just at the time of my 
mother's death, which it is impossible to account for otherwise than 
as the result of the same agency. 

Being very weary, and almost worn out with long watching by my 
dear mother's dying bed, the night after all was over I retired to rest 
early, after having carefully extinguished the lights. 

My bedstead was a small tent, with white dimity hangings, a 
valance hanging round the tester. From sheer fatigue and exhaustion 
I quickly fell asleep, and never once woke until the bright morning 
sun made its way through the curtains. 

On opening my eyes, the first thing I saw, which alarmed me not 
a litde, was the counterpane covered with tinder, the centre of the 
tester of the bed being completely burned away, leaving only festoons 
of the burnt dimity hanging round the inside of the wooden frame, 
with the valance outside untouched and uninjured. 

The fire had evidently originated in the ctntre of the tester, and it 
is ^ite impossible that any spark from a candle could have reached it 
Had it been one of the curtains which was so burnt, this might have 
been the case, but the curtains were untouched. How it was possible 
for me, for anyone, to have slept through the glare and heai which 
must have been produced by such a fire is most mysterious. Yet I 
was perfecdy unconscious of both ; and that I escaped being burnt 
to death seems little short of a miracle. 

About a fortnight after this occurrence, an equally strange and 
unaccountable one took place ; it was in the same room, which was a 
very cheerful one, looking out on to the lawn. 

The house, which was our own, was an old one ; that is, the main 
building, which had been added to, and had the name of being 
haunted Very many strange and unaccountable noises were certainly 
heard in it, but in the room in question nothing had ever before 
occurred to shake the weakest nerves. 

I was packing, preparatory to leaving the old home for ever. 
There was a large china plateau, which I much prized ; and, being 
anxious for its safety, decided on packing it in a chest of linen, in- 
stead of with the other china. It was tsdcen to my room the night 
before it was to have been packed, and rested on its edge against the 

When I rose in the morning it was lying on the floor in a hundred 

On the SupernaturaL 45 

pieces, like so many lumps of sugar. And yet no sound whatever 
had disturbed me during the night, though I am always a particularly 
light sleeper. 

Never will the sight of that broken dish be forgotten. Had it 
rolled down, it mij^At have been broken into several pieces, but it 
ofuld not, from such a cause, have been broken as it was. It looked 
exactly as though it had been hamtnered into bits. 

Strange as it may sound, it does sometimes appear that there are 
cases in which the departed are concerned in the things of earth, 
after they have quitted it 

I knew of an instance where a gentleman, entrusted with a secret 
of great moment by a friend, under a most solemn promise never to 
divulge it, very improperly committed his friend's statement to paper 
— which he placed between the leaves of a book in his library — ^and 
dying without having destroyed it, he for years constantly appeared in 
that room, always looking with a most distressful expression towards 
one particular shelf. At length a member of the family, more 
courageous than the rest, determined to speak to the apparition, and 
enquire the cause of his appearing and his seeming distress. He did 
so. The cause of his disquiet was revealed and the volume which 
contained the manuscript pointed out, with directions for its being 
immediately burnt, without being looked at. This was done, and he 
never appeared after, assuring his relative that now he could rest. 
And this reminds me of a strange thing which happened in Ireland. 

A vessel with troops had been lost off Tramore, and one of those 
who had perished was the wife of a sergeant ; she had married him 
against the consent of her parents. The father, who lived in another 
county, and had never been to Tramore in his life, had a vision, in 
which his daughter appeared to him and begged him to go and have 
her body removed from a spot which she indicated, saying that she 
was buried in the sand, and could not rest, as a man's arm was thrown 
across her chest. She also told her father that he would find the 
certificate of her marriage in her pocket. 

He started for Tramore, making known the object of his journey 
on the way, so that very many people accompanied him, anxious to 
know the result of his search. Arrived at the spot on the sands 
which he had seen in the vision, he had the sand removed ; and there,, 
as she had told him, lay the body of his child, with the arm of a man„ 
who had been washed in at the same time, thrown across her chest. 
The certificate of her marriage was in her pocket. 

The excitement at Waterford, Tramore, and all the adjacent towns 
was very great The strangest part of it was that the man's arm 
thrown across the woman should prevent her being able to rest 

I remember another strange story, which I heard many years ago^ 
when living at Waterford, from the lady herself, Miss F B . 

When quite young, she became engaged to a gentleman in the 
armyy and some time after his regiment was ordered to India. 

46 On the Supernatural. 

They were both anxious that the marriage should take place before 

Mr. S embarked ; but the young lady's father would not hear 

of it until his future son-in-law had obtained his promotion (he being 
at that time only a lieutenant) and should be in a more suitable 
position to marry. When that time anived, he might return to Ireland 
to claim his bride. 

Before they parted, Miss B gave him a favourite spaniel, to 

which they were both attached, making him promise never, under any 
circumstances, to part with it. 

One night, some time after Lieutenant S had sailed. Miss 

B was awakened by the curtains at the right hand side of her 

huge four-post bed being drawn apart. Standing there, in full- 
dress uniform, with the spaniel under his arm, she saw her friend the 

He spoke not, but, fixing his eyes on her with a sad and sorrowful 
expression, after some little time vanished. 

Miss B mentioned the circumstance to her family in the 

morning, and made a note of the day and hour. 

As soon as a sufficient time had elapsed for a letter to reach 

them, they received the sad tidings that Lieutenant S had 

died of fever, almost immediately after his arrival in India, and on 
the very day and at the very hour at which he appeared to Miss 
B . 

These are strange facts, but they are mysteries which we cannot 
penetrate or attempt to understand. 

The appearing of Lieutenant S was strange ; but to my mind 

the appearing of the dog was stranger still, as that was doubtless alive 
and in India. It is useless to speculate on these things ; but the facts 
are incontrovertible. 

There is yet another instance which comes to my mind, though 
somewhat different from the foregoing, inasmuch as the person who 
appeared was still living. 

The lady was an aunt of my own, my father's only sister ; she was 
a very beautiful woman, who had married, when scarcely more than 
fourteen, a man nearly three times her own age. The marriage was 
an unhappy one ; and six years of wretchedness brought her to an 
early grave, when she had scarcely completed her twenty-first year. 
She was really ill only a few weeks ; and the end drew on so rapidly 
that the doctor expected every time he went to the house to find that 
all was o^ er. 

On the morning of the day she died, as the servant opened the 
front door to the doctor (till then quite a sceptic in such matters), he 
declared that he distinctly saw my aunt leave the dining-room, and 
walk upstairs. Not only so, but he heard the rustle of her silk dress 
in passing up the staircase. 

Greatly astonished, he asked the servant how it was that his mistress 
was down stairs, when he had not exx)ected to find her living. 

On the Supernatural. 47 

''My mistress down stairs, sir," said the man, looking perplexed and 
alanned. " Why, nurse did not think she would live till morning ! " 

She was still living, however, but died that night. 

I will now only add one or two more cases, where the departed 
have appeared to the living. 

While nursing a beloved brother during his last illness, I went to my 
room one morning, after a night of anxious watching, in order to 
obtain the refreshment of a bath and hair-brushing, so desirable at all 
dmes after fetigue of any kind, but particularly after sitting up all night. 
It was a glorious morning, the bright sun lighting up the gay colours of 
all the lovely flowers which adorned a very pretty garden, on which my 
room looked out This garden was separated from the road and foot- 
path by iron palisades, in the centre of which was a gate, from which 
a long walk ran through the garden to the hall door. 

I was in the act of putting on my dress when my attention was 
attracted by a lady, rather tall and slight, who entered the gate, 
though I know not how, for I did not see her open it, and yet she 
passed through it and walked up the path with her head bowed. 
Though the figure and dress were quite familiar to me — ^for I did not 
see the face — I could not recall who it was. I particularly noticed the 
dress, as having seen it before, but it did not help me to recognise 
the wearer. 

Waiting in momentary expectation of hearing a knock at the front 
door, and £iiling to do so, I leaned out of the window and looked 
below. But not a living soul was there ; the lady had vanished. Yet 
it was quite impossible for her to have left the garden without my 
seeing her. Then, and not till then, did I recognise in the lady 
my beloved mother — and the dress also as the last she ever wore. 

My brother died the next day. Shortly before his death there was 
a knock at the firont door, which was heard by him ; he spoke of it, 
and enquired who it was. Everyone else in the house heard the 
bock, but upon the door being opened nobody was to be seen. 

That some of us do possess the power to see supernatural appear- 
ances and to hear supernatural sounds cannot be denied. It is a 
mystery, as all that is connected with the world of spirits is a mystery, 
possibly never to be solved in all time. But what we know not now 
we shall know hereafter. 

S. M. L. 



By Joyce Darrell, Author of "The Sapphire Cross.'* 


THE inhabitants of Femholme were much excited on hearing that 
the beautiful Christobel Fane was coming on a visit to Mr. 
Hillyer's family at the Hall. At the beginning of the London season 
she had suddenly appeared under the wing of Mr. Hillyer's eccentric 
and wealthy maiden sister, Miss Millicent, who was always doing odd 
things. And one of the oddest, or at any rate most unexpected, 
things she had ever done was to adopt Miss Fane. 

She had never been fond of young people, and was the last person 
in the world whom one would have suspected of self-sacriiice. She 
detested "society " — so called : that is, a round of balls and parties, of 
afternoon teas and tennis-matches ; and for years had never shown her 
grim but handsome face in one of them. 

But with the advent of Miss Fane everything was changed. Miss 
Millicent industriously renewed old and half-forgotten relations ; called 
upon people whom she had not seen for a quarter of a century ; and 
finally gave a large and brilliant ball herself. At this Miss Fane's beauty 
made a sensation. After it, she was asked " everywhere." Some very 
exalted personages admired her, and this lucky circumstance sealed the 
lips of the invidious, and killed all awkward wondering as to her origin. 
The mystery surrounding her — ^and there undoubtedly was one — 
seemed only to make her more charming ; especially as she was as 
highbred-looking and refined as she was lovely. She was absolutely 
silent always as to her birth and parentage ; and her manner did not 
invite interrogation. Miss Millicent curtly explained to one or two 
irrepressible cross-examiners, that Christobel was the daughter of an 
old friend who had died abroad in poverty and solitude, consequent 
upon the bad behaviour of a worthless husband ; and when the 
questioners did not seem satisfied, the old lady calmly ignored their 
discontent. Of course people smiled and whispered and conjectured 
a little, at first ; but after a while their curiosity languished for want 
of nourishment Miss Hillyer's strong will imposed itself on her 
acquaintance ; and the various rumours were crystallised into a dozen 
romantic stories, to each one of which there was somebody willing to 

It so happened that Miss Millicent's own family were among the 
last to make Christobers acquaintance. The ancestral home of the 
Hillyers was in Yorkshire, and Miss Millicent for years had never 
crossed its threshold. The death of Mrs. Hillyer, five years before 
this story begins, had furnished an ostensible reason for closing the 

ChristobeL 49 

Hall to visitors, and keeping the young people out of society. For 
the first time since his bereavement, Mr. Hiilyer had invited down 
some men to shoot, and some ladies to amuse them in the hours not 
devoted to sport To his great surprise, and not largely to his 
pleasure, a letter had arrived, one morning, from Miss Millicent, 
proposing that she and her prot^^ should join the party. Mr. 
Hiilyer could not refuse, of course ; a wealthy maiden sister, even 
when avaricious — and Miss Millicent, towards everybody but 
Christobel, showed herself deeply avaricious — is not to be treated 
cavalierly. Nevertheless, the Squire felt that the visit was ill-timed 

And his eldest daughter — ^the gende Geraldine — could also have 
wished that it might have been made later. She would not have 
admitted it for the world. She would hardly even confess it to her 
own inmost soul ; yet she dreaded Christobel Fane's arrival. Might 
not the beauty win from her the thing she most valued on earth — the 
prize she dared not yet call her own — Godfrey Verschoyle's love? 
Godfrey had not yet frankly declared himself; so how could she be 
sure of his feelings ? She was no born coquette, confident of her 
unfailing power to please ; but a timid girl, unused to the ways of the 
world, and with a far too humble opinion of hersel£ 

The consequence was that she felt very tmeasy as she sat silent 
among her visitors, o^ the afternoon of the day when Miss Millicent 
was expected. A lively group of ladies, some young and pretty, all 
fashionable and well-dressed, were assembled in the library of the 
Hall ; and their spirits had just gone up considerably on the advent 
of three or four gendemen. A hopelessly wet afternoon had sent the 
shooters home early ; and a few of these had gathered round the tea- 
table instead of betaking themselves to the smoking-room and billiards. 
Among these was Godfrey Verschoyle — a tall, handsome young man, 
with the frankest face possible. He looked as unlikely to be per- 
fidious as anybody on this globe ; and his eyes often rested linger- 
ingly on the graceful golden head of Geraldine Hiilyer. She sat on 
a low seat by the fire, her own eyes, for the most part, intently 
fixed on the flames. She was conscious of her lover's glance, yet too 
self-tortured to respond to it quite happily. 

"They ought soon to be here now," said Mrs. Chisholm, who, 
being a quasi-youthful widow, freshly emerged from her weeds, and 
still very pretty, was also much preoccupied about Miss Fane's 
arrivaL " I wonder if I shall be disappomted ? It is really dreadful 
to live so much out of the world as I have done lately. One misses 
so many charming things I Captain Verschoyle, have you, like every 
one else, been enslaved by Miss Fane?" 

" I have never seen her," said Godfrey. " Last season I was not in 

" True. You were travelling round the world. By die way, were 
you not in the Rocky Mountains with Edward Meredyth ? " 

" For a time— yes." 

vou XL. E 

50 Chrisiobel. 

" He has a great American millionaire staying with him. Did you 
not say so, Geraldine ? " 

" So Lady Meredyth told me. When I invited Ned and any one of 
his guests to dinner to-morrow, she said she thought Mr. Vandyken 
would be the one to accompany him.'' 

" Vandyken ? " repeated Verschoyle, quickly. 

" Yes. Do you know him ? " 

" I have heard the name,'' answered Godfrey, and strolled to the 
window. " Here comes a carriage," he presently said. " These must 
be your guests. Miss Hillyer. Yes — I see Miss Millicent's parrot" 

There was a general stir of expectation : and the yelping of a lap- 
dog and the screaming of a parrot being presently audible, Geraldine 
rose and went towards the door. Before she reached it, it was thrown 
open, and the two ladies entered. 

Miss Millicent, although quite an old woman, was singularly hand- 
some and stately, but forbidding-looking. She took her niece's gentle 
greeting coldly ; barely offering her cheek to be kissed. Then Geral- 
dine turned towards Miss Fane. Extending her hand with a timid 
grace, and raising her eyes to the stranger's face, she underwent a 
revulsion of feeling which took her completely by surprise. Incipient 
jealousy died within her, quenched by a sudden rush of sympathy, 
mixed in some inexplicable way with pity. Yet Christobel was even 
more beautiful than she had imagined ; beautiful enough to be in very 
deed a dangerous rival. 

But there was something so appealingly mournful in her glance ; a 
suggestion of so much sorrow in her proud and lovely face, that Geral- 
dine, forgetting herself entirely for a moment, stood transfixed with 
admiration and interest Doubtless, it was her own delicacy of per- 
ception that made her fee> all this, for Miss Fane's manner belied her 
glance, and so far from seeming to claim sjonpathy, might rather be 
said to repel it She was polite, and no more, and responded to 
each greeting in succession with a well-bred calmness that bordered 
on hauteur. 

All this time Godfrey was still standing with his back to the window, 
and had made no step in advance. At last Geraldine, looking towards 
him in some surprise, said shyly : 

" You know my aunt. Captain Verschoyle. Miss Fane, will you 
allow me to introduce " 

She stopped short, struck by the sudden change in Christobel's 
manner. The girl, turning visibly pale, drew back and looked at 
Godfrey with dilating eyes. It was but for an instant, yet in that 
space Geraldine had time to feel a number of conflicting emotions. 

Jealousy first of all, sharp, brief, agonising, — surprise, a little re- 
sentment, but above all, finally overcoming the rest, a passionate, 
wondering interest For instinctively she felt that Christobel's stricken 
look was the sign of some anguish too deep for words. 

Geraldine turned quickly to see how Godfrey was looking; and 

Christobel. 51 

although he still had his back to the light, she perceived, or fancied so, 
some astonishment also in him. He said not a word, however, only 
bowed profoundly ; and presently taking a seat apart from the others, 
fell to watching Miss Fane, furtively but intently. There was some 
effort at general conversation, but the results were, not brilliant 
Geraldine was studying Christobers face ; the rest of the ladies were 
studying her dress, and wondering why she looked so handsome in it 
Miss Millicent was tired and cross. Most of the gentlemen had 
reached that ante-prandial stage when further existence without a 
cigar is unendurable ; and Godfrey was absolutely silent 

It was a relief to Geraldine when the dressing-bell rang, and she 
could escape to her own room. In that grateful solitude, she took 
herself severely to task. Despising herself for jealousy, she tried 
hard to overcome the feeling, and to feel persuaded that all she had 
seen was the mere effect of fancy. But the effort was not very 
successful, and Geraldine, after an hour's anxious struggle, was only 
a litde more miserable than before. When dressed, she descended 
to the drawing-roon, opened the door, and — startled two people : 
Captain Verschoyle and Miss Fane, who were standing in close 
conversation in front of the fire. They separated hastily, and Godfrey 
came forward to meet his young hostess. Something in her face 
moved him to say, with an obvious attempt at carelessness : " I was 
just asking Miss Fane if she knew any of my acquaintances in the 

" Why ? Is Miss Fane an American ? " asked Geraldine, quickly, 
for the colour rose &indy into Christobel's pale cheeks, as she coldly 
answered : " Only in part ; " and Godfrey, tugging at his moustache, 
looked as if he devoutly wished his observation unspoken. 


The girlhood of Geraldine Hillyer had not been happy. She had 
early lost her mother, whom she devotedly loved, and, from the age 
of fourteen, had been practically mistress of the house. The task 
thus devolving upon her was by no means an easy one. Mr. Hillyer, 
for the sake of the property, which was entailed, had ardently desired 
a son. Only daughters had, however, been bom to him ; and his lot, 
thus soured, had been additionally embittered by losses of money. 
To have extricated himself from his consequent difficulties he would 
have needed to mortgage his estate ; and this was impossible without 
the consent of the next heir, his youngest brother, Harold Hillyer. 
And Harold Hillyer was out of England ; where^ nobody knew, for he 
had not been heard of for years. 

He had, when still very young, at the end of a wild, half mad 
career, in a moment of terrible temptation, committed an act of 
foigeiy, and had expiated his crime in the usual way. His term of 
punishment over, he had disappeared, asking no help from his 

52 ChristobeL 

people and receiving none. The Hillyers, for generations a proud 
race, had never recovered from the blow. Misfortune had dogged 
them ever since, they said bitterly. Sorrow made them prouder and 
more resentful, but not more energetic They did not seek for 
remedies from within, but from without ; vaguely expecting strokes 
of good fortune, and being disappointed when these failed them. 

Geraldine had grown up, feeling year after year more strongly the 
incongruity between the family means and the family pretensions; 
harassed constantly by the need of economy and the impossibility of 
achieving it ; patiently attaining to results, only to see them destroyed 
by some caprice or some folly of her father's. She had persuaded 
him, as long as her own education was not completed, to see but 
little company ; and had thus put an end to the lavish hospitality 
which had become a proverb in the county. 

But while Geraldine economized at home, Mr. Hillyer squandered 
abroad ; and his daughter came at last to realise how vain were all 
her sacrifices. 

Upon this sad, pathetic youth of hers the possibility of Godfrey 
Verschoyle's love had fallen like a sunbeam. To her, the proud and 
s^ous and silent young girl, bearing the burdens and expiating the 
follies of others, it had never seemed possible that anybody should 
love her for herself alone. 

P/etty and graceful as she was, she held her own grace and beauty 
in small account beside those of other girls ; and she was very far 
indeed — sweet soul ! — from guessing that for anyone endowed with 
true insight, she possessed one all-compelling charm in her simple, 
ever ready kindness. 

Captain Verschoyle seemed just a young Englishman of a type 
common enough — manly, upright, goodly to look upon ; and intelli- 
gent above the average, if gifted with no special genius. He was so 
for superior to his fellows, that he had seemed on his first acquaint- 
ance with her to recognise the mingled sweetness and hidden 
€trength of Geraldine Hillyer*s character. Hers was a nature which, 
starved of love hitherto, needed it in order to expand ; and the 
reverent, subdued tenderness with which Godfrey treated her had 
seemed like the realisation of a joyful dream. A hundred times he 
had apparently been on the brink of declaring himself; but some- 
thing — one or other of the numberless invisible currents which 
determine human action, sometimes to its marring — had intervened ; 
and Geraldine, half unconscious of what she hoped, had been kept in 
an agitated uncertainty. 

A few words must be expended on the reason of the present 
unusual gathering at the Hall. The party had been assembled to do 
honour to Mr. Sherlock, an uncle of Mr. Hillyer's, who had lately 
returned to his own country after years spent in Australia. 

This old man (he was over eighty) had had the good luck to 
make a large fortune in the Colonies; but there his luck ceased 

ChristobeL 53 

Deprived by death of his wife and children, while still singularly 
hale and strong for his age, he found himself without a creature be- 
longing to him, in the land of his adoption. 

He had then bethought himself of his kin in the old world, and 
had astonished them by his sudden apparition. It had been said 
that Mr. Hillyer believed in strokes of luck ; and thus it can easily 
be imagined what an object of interest his uncle became to him. As 
his only near relative (excepting Miss Millicent and the absent 
Harold), and the head of the family, he had he conceived a 
peculiar claim upon him, and he entertained secret hopes of his 
exhausted coffers being ultimately replenished out of Mr. Sherlock's 

The old man had so far remained a somewhat inscrutable indivi- 
dual : very silent ; hardly dignified enough to be described as reserved, 
and yet distinctly secretive. 

Whether his reticence came from depth of design, as Mr. Hillyer 
sometimes feared, or from mere lack of ideas, as Geraldine often 
suspected, it was impossible to guess. He occasionally looked criti- 
cally at his eldest grand-niece, and seemed pleased at any small 
attention which she showed him. Geraldine, on her side, underwent 
a constant struggle in regard to him ; for while her tender heart was 
touched by his loneliness, she was often revolted by her father's im- 
perfectly concealed expectations, and shrank from the idea of appear- 
ing to share them. 

And now to our story. 

The butler announced dinner; but Mr. Sherlock had not yet 
appeared, and the whole party waited for him. Mrs. Chisholm was 
so hungry, and Major Fortescue, one of the latest arrivals among the 
guests, perhaps from the same cause, so dull, that the little widow's 
temper was seriously impaired. What exasperated her still more was 
the discovery that the amber of Miss Fane's gown was a better shade 
than her own, and she had an agonising suspicion that it might^also 
be more becoming. 

Under such disastrous circumstances what could a bewitching'little 
widow of the feline species do but look about for somebody par- 
ticularly sensitive to scratch ? Her eyes fell on Geraldine. 

" Darling Geraldine 1 are you ill ? " she exclaimed. " You are 
sibsolutely as white as a sheet." 

This drew everybody's attention to the victim, who crimsoned to 
the roots of her hair. 

"I am only tired," said the poor girl, hastily, tortured by the 
bare idea that Godfrey and Miss Fane might guess the real cause of 
her pallor. On meeting Christobel's glance, her feelings did not im- 
prove, and she turned her head away with a movement, for her, almost 
pettish. Mrs. Chisholm, instinctively conscious of success, although 
the reason of it was unknown to her, pursued her advantage. 

" I am positive," she said, plaintively, " that you fatigue yourselJ 

54 ChristobeL 

too much. You are so anxious for our amusement that you never 
give yourself any rest" 

" I do not think I exert myself especially," answered Geraldine, 
with a faint smile. '* You are generally all kind enough to amuse 

"You do too much, far too much," persisted Mrs. Chisholm, 
smothering a yawn behind her fan. " Three days ago you had a 

dance ; to-morrow you have a dinner party. By the bye, who is 

coming from Sir Edward's ? " 

She asked this question briskly, remembering one of the baronet's 
guests, who might act as a fillip to Major Fortescue's languid 
" intentions." 

" Only Sir Edward and Mr. Vandyken, the American millionaire." 

Miss Millicent's fan filing at this moment to the floor, she 
stooped to pick it up, but as she did so it became entangled in the 
trimming of her dress, and she could not release it Christobel rose 
and crossed the room to help her. 

" Take care ! " cried Miss Millicent, in a low voice, and laid her 
hand on the young girl's shoulder. The lace was very costly ; pro- 
bably she did not wish it torn. But Miss Fane was so long over the 
task, that at last Geraldine came in her turn to the rescue. As she 
bent down to give her services, she was surprised to observe that 
the cause of Christobel's failure were her trembling and icy-cold 

" Are you ill ? " she asked, kindly, struck next with the girl's death- 
like appearance. 

" 111 ! Nonsense ! she is never ill," interrupted Miss Millicent, but 
her glance had an anxious expression which did not accord with her 
words. At the same moment she herself released the fan by a move- 
ment so abrupt that the lace was torn. Mrs. Chisholm cast Miss 
Fane a scrutinising glance, but before her penetration had time to work, 
a diversion was effected by the entrance of Mr. Sherlock. He came 
in noiselessly, a small, fresh-faced, wizened old gentleman, dressed with 
a faultless, old-fashioned care. 

" It is half a century since we met," he said, going straight up to 
Miss Millicent They were uncle and niece, but there was not above 
a dozen years' difference in their ages. Miss Millicent being the eldest 
of her family. She received him with a graciousness extraordinary 
for her, and had barely responded to his greeting before she drew 
Christobel forward with a marked alacrity, saying : " This is the 
person I love best in the world. You will be kind to her, I hope." 

It was a strange speech to make, especially before her own kindred, 
and a room full of strangers as well, and Mr. Hillyer felt deeply 
offended and incensed But the effect produced on Mr. Sherlock, 
either by Miss Millicent's words or by Miss Fane's own beauty, was 
apparently very favourable. He fixed his small, dull eyes on the girl's 
lovely face ; talked to her in his dry, jerky way ; and finally, when the 

ChrtstobeL 55 

moment came for moving, offered her his arm and marched her into 
the dining-room. As the evening went on, it appeared tl\at the 
old Australian was not the only person on whom Miss Fane had cast 
a spell. 

Major Fortescue, who for days past had languidly allowed himself 
to be appropriated by Mrs. Chisholm, now deserted her for the new- 
comer. The lady thus abandoned hid her feelings successfully, but 
inwardly fumed ; and jealousy sharpening her natural malice, she fell 
to watching her rival with a preternatural acuteness. Nothing that 
Cbristobel said or did escaped her, and it was she who subtly drew 
ereiybod/s attention to the &ct that Captain Verschoyle, when 
urging Miss Fane to sing, appeared to betray some previous knowledge 
of her capacity. 

" Miss Fane looks as though she sang," said Godfrey, coolly enough, 
although he bit his lips. " And as one of my burning desires is to hear 
' In Una Tomba ' whenever I have the chance, it is natural that I 
should suggest it now." 

" Qui s'excuse, s'accuse," murmured the widow behind her fan, but 
ioud enough for Geraldine to hear. 

Christobel rose and went to the piano. " As I do know ' In Una 
Tomba,' I will sing it," she said, "if only to encourage Captain 
Verschoyle in always asking for it, until he hears it sung to his taste." 

She had a lovely voice, as full of feeling as her face ; and she sang 
the noble, solemn song quite simply, yet with an intensity of longing 
which astonished her audience. When she ended, there ensued one 
of those silences which are more eloquent a thousandfold than 

" You sing like an artist," said Mrs. Chisholm, at last " I remem- 
ber once hearing of an American girl who sang that at a concert in 
Chester, and enraptured everybody. I was unwell, and could not go. 
I was so sorry ; for all the gentlemen were raving when they came 
home. What was the name? Mildmay? Musgrave? Mortimer — 
That was it Did you ever hear her. Miss Fane ? " 

" Yes," answered Christobel, quietly. 

" At that very concert, perhaps ? " Mrs. Chisholm put up her eye- 
glasses. Her tone was impressive. 

" Yes, at that concert." 

"Come and sing a duet, Mrs. Chisholm," suddenly interposed 
Godfrey, rising and approaching the piano. " You cannot have for- 
gotten how you ravished us last night" 

But Mrs. Chisholm protested. '* She had a cold — she was hoarse. 
She could not sing after Miss Fane. Besides, she really wanted to 
hear more about Miss Mortimer. Perhaps Miss Fane knew her ? " 

'* Oh, nonsense 1 " said Verschoyle, gaily. " How should Miss 
Fane know one concert-singer more than another ? It is unkind of 
you to hesitate about the duet when you know I am expiring to show 
off!" And he drowned further expostulation in a shower of chords. 

56 ChrisiobcL 

Two hours later, in Miss Millicent's bed-room, Christobel Fane was 
kneeling in front of her benefactress ; her head bent upon her hands, 
her frame shaken with sobs. " It is too much ; I cannot continue. I 
have not the strength," she wailed. 

* " Ungrateful girl I I will never forgive you if you break your pro- 
mise now," the old woman answered, and her face was sombre, her 
tones were harsh. " Who rescued you from a life you hated ? Who 
clothed and fed you when you might have starved ? And what did I 
ask of you in return? Nothing, except to be silent" 

" It is the deception I shrink from," said the girl, raising her 
beautiful eyes imploringly. 

" I have no patience with such scruples. You think of nobody but 
yourself. You care nothing for him." Christobel's sobs grew louder, 
and Miss Millicent resumed, after an angry pause : " Deception, for- 
sooth ! And what better treatment do they deserve, these creatures 
who care more for the world's opinion than for their own flesh and 
blood ? " 

" Let us go from here," entreated Christobel, and put her arms 
supplicatingly round the rigid old form. " He does not need us now ; 
he is happy enough. If ever sorrow overtakes him again, we can com- 
fort him — we who love him. But why sacrifice truth and sincerity 
and self-respect for the sake of a paltry ambition ? " 

" Paltry ! " echoed Miss Millicent, her eyes flaming with excite- 
ment " Child ! you don't know what you say. You are young ; you 
are lovely ; the world is all before. You have never been really un- 

Christobel's head sank lower, and she moaned. 

" Ah I you think you have known sorrow, perhaps, for young hearts 
are impatient But you have not sat, like me, for years by a lonely 
hearth; with nothing to look forward to but darkness, nothing to 
remember but one great shame. I have longed for the sight of his 
&ce, as only those can long whose lot has been loveless and embittered." 

She stopped abruptly, for her voice broke, although her eyes were 
tearless. Her face, usually hard, had grown grey and anguished ; and 
when Christobel, taking her hand, began to stroke it softly, she was 
seized with a violent trembling. Presently, she broke out again, 
passionately : 

" I have hated the laughter, and wearied of the sorrow of others, just 
because of the void in my own aching heart. When you came at last 
after so long — so long — it seemed like the promise of a better time. 
Do you also intend to disappoint me ? " 

" I will stay with you always," cried Christobel. 

"Yes, on your own terms," answered Miss Millicent, hardening 
again suddenly and repelling her embrace. " But that is not what I 
need, Christobel. You must reward me in my way, or not at all." 

Christobel sighed and rose from her knees. "If I understood 
your plans better " she began. 

ChristobeL 57 

" Never mind my plans. They concern me. All you have to do 
is to be passive. That odious widow, with her airs and her eye-glass 
— she sees better than anybody, I am sure — did she ever meet you 

« I don't think so." 

" And Captain Verschoyle ? '* A faint blush rose to Christobel's 

" He is safe," she said, reluctantly. 

^' Humph!" Miss Millicent looked at her closely, all agitation 
in her exchanged for scrutiny. " I hope you are not sentimental. 
That would spoil everything. And now go to bed, my dear." 

Christobel stooped, and gently kissed the withered cheek. Miss 
Millicent took the caress stonily enough ; but when alone she folded 
her hands with a sudden, apparently involuntarily gesture, and uttered 
half aloud a wish so fervent that it was like a prayer. 


Of the various guests at dinner next day at the Hall, by far the most 
interesting was the American millionaire, Mr. Vandyken. He was a 
remarkable looking man, distinguished, almost princely in appear- 
ance. His dark eyebrows and singularly brilliant black eyes, were 
in striking contrast to his snow-white beard and hair; his features 
were delicate, his figure slight and tall. He had a charming voice 
and pleasant, easy manners, with none of the prosiness and the twang 
of the typical Transatlantic nouveau riche. 

In the quarter of an hour which elapsed between his arrival and 
the announcement of dinner he managed to make a good impression 
on everybody — ^with one exception. 

That exception, as Geraldine saw or fancied, was Miss Fane. 

Christobel and Miss Millicent had come in the last of all to 
dinner, the latter having been all the afternoon unwell. She had 
been seized with a sudden nervous trembling and an unaccountable 
excitement, very strange in one usually so self-possessed. The 
Squire, alarmed, had wished to send for a doctor ; but to this his 
sister would not consent She wanted no advice, she said; she 
knew how to manage herself; and Christobel alone was to wait on 
her. Even the gentle services of Geraldine were rejected, although 
the girl, always touched at the sight of suffering, had shown the full 
measure of her sweet, untiring sympathy. 

When Miss Millicent appeared, at last, leaning on Christobel's 
ami, it was plain that, if better, she was by no means well. While 
her eyes were unnaturally bright, her hands were shaking, and she 
was deadly pale. 

At the moment of gaining her chair, she stumbled and almost 
fell, so that several people precipitated themselves to help her, and 
even Mr. Vandyken made a courtly movement forwards. 

58 ChristobeL 

It was when the little disturbance consequent on all this had sub- 
sided that Mr. Hillyer introduced the American to his sister and to 

Miss Millicent was probably still too shaken to behave in quite a 
normal manner. Be that as it may, she did not bow— only fixed 
her glittering glance, grown all at once so intense, on the stranger. 
Christobel bent her head slightly, almost haughtily, as it seemed to 
Geraldine, who, fascinated by everything she did, wondered vaguely 
at the cause. 

During dinner Mr. Vandyken talked delightfully, telling curious 
anecdotes of men and things, and relating adventures in the far wild 
west, till everybody hung upon his words, and Miss Millicent above 
all listened with a breathless attention. He had the art, so rare — in 
a raconteur of Anglo-Saxon origin, at any rate — of knowing when to 
cease relating ; and as the evening went on he turned his attention 
to England, and especially the neighbourhood where he was at 
present ; asking intelligent, well-bred questions about everything. 

'' This is one of the fine old houses which delight us Americans," 
he observed presently, glancing round the beautiful old-fashioned 
room. " We read of such houses, and dream of them until all our 
luxury seems vulgar in comparison. I noticed that your library 
was oak-panelled. You have a picture gallery, of course ? " 

"Not a large collection, but we can boast some good family 
portraits," said Mr. Hillyer. "We have been painted indeed in 
every generation, but not always by famous hands. Would you like 
to see the pictures ? " 

" No ! " abruptly cried Miss Millicent, to everybody's astonishment, 
and she looked inexplicably troubled. " There is nothing to see," 
she added, turning almost entreatingly, as it seemed, to Mr. Van- 
dyken, " The pictures are worthless." 

" Worthless I " echoed Mr. Hillyer, indignantly. " What are you 
thinking of, Millicent ? There are portraits by Lely, and Kneller, and 
Reynolds. Worthless indeed 1" The Squire was irritated at the 
bare idea, and took no pains to conceal his annoyance. 

"I should most certainly like to see these portraits," said Mr. 
Vandyken in his smooth, pleasant way ; and everybody being curious 
now about the pictures, the whole party moved off to the gallery. 

They passed in review all the dead and gone Hillyers. Ladies in 
ruffs and stiff brocades, and ladies in white satin ; knights in armour, 
and cavaliers in buff jerkins and plumed hats ; damsels in sacques 
with powdered locks, and haughty-looking gentlemen in sky-blue coats 
leaning on diamond-hiked swords : a goodly array, with some £unous 
personages among them, but mostly mere commonplace. The 
millionaire listened with flattering attention to all the &mily histories, 
and paused some minutes even before the totally uninteresting pre- 
sentment of the master of the house. 

" There is not much in that portrait," said Mr. Hillyer, with the 


ChristobeL 59 

slight, conscious smile of a man who all His life has secretly thought 
a great deal of himself. 

" And this ? " The American had glanced enquiringly towards an 
empty frame. It was a curiously tactless question, especially for him ! 

Mr. Hillyer's brow darkened, and his voice had a bitter ring as he 
answered : " The picture that hung there has been removed." 

There ensued a very awkward stillness, for everybody knew, or felt, 
that the portrait in question could be none but Harold Hillyer's. The 
silence was broken in the most startling manner by Miss Millicent. 

"You might have let it stay," she cried, vehemently, with such a 
tone of passion as electrified her hearers. Mr. Hillyer gave her a 
violent glance, but the habit of society and an Englishman's horror 
of a scene restrained him. 

"You are ill, I think," he said, coldly. " We had better return to 
the drawing-room ; and you, Millicent, should go to bed. I am sure 
you are ill." 

At this hint Christobel — herself very pale and with set lips — 
came forward and touched her protectress gently on the arm. 
But Miss Millicent, trembling all over, with quivering lips and out- 
stretched hands, turned again to Mr. Vandyken. 

" I have never forgotten him," she said, wildly. " I have prayed 
night and day for his return. I have banished from my life and from 
my thoughts every creature whom I knew, or fancied, still condemi ed 
him. From the hour that he left until yesterday my foot never 
crossed the threshold of this house, where his unnatural kindred 
dwelL For his sake I have led a lonely, well-nigh a hated life. 
I would have neither brother nor sister near me, neither husband nor 
child, for fear that with others to love me, my love for him might 
grow less. I " 

She broke off with a long shuddering wail, and wringing her 
beautiful old hands together, lifted them above her head with an 
action so tragic that it absolutely thrilled them all. 

There was something so unearthly in her anguish — something so 
heartrending in her agonised face, with its pathetic framing of grey 
hair, that her amazed hearers would hardly have had the force, even 
had they possessed the will, to interrupt her ; but her brother, rousing 
himself at last, with an evident effort, cried angrily : " She is mad ! 
Geraldine — Miss Fane, don't stand there like statues ! Take her to 
her room, I tell you. Is such a scene to be borne ? " 

" I am not mad," said Miss Millicent. " Madness, like death, like 
every solace, has been denied me." 

Her voice broke and she fell into a kind of hysterical sobbing, quite 
dry-eyed, however, and intolerably painful to listen to — it was so 
riolent, and she looked so old ! For a few moments silence again 
reigned; during which interval Geraldine, vibrating in every nerve 
with pity, drew near to her aunt, but did not dare to touch her. Mr. 
Vandyken, to whom Miss Millicent had so strangely addressed herself, 

6o ChrisiobeL 

stood with compressed mouth and downcast eyes, his whole attitude 
expressive of well-bred embarrassment, mixed with a little not un- 
natural surprise. 

** Millicent, come to your room," again spoke Mr. Hillyer, and laid 
his hand upon his sister's arm. She shrank from the touch, instan- 
taneously, passionately ; then, as if exhausted by that final effort, fell 
backwards in a faint 

The doctor, who was summoned in haste, pronounced Miss Milli- 
cent to be suffering from pressure on the brain. Her condition being 
somewhat critical, most of the guests went away; but at Mr. Hillyer's 
special request Mrs. Chisholm, Major Fortescue and Verschoyle re- 

Some shooting parties and consequent luncheons, which Sir Edward 
Meredyth got up to amuse the American, provided all three with 
occupation. For while the gentlemen blazed away at the partridges, 
Mrs. Chisholm, whenever it was possible, devoted her attention 
to a nobler quarry. This was nobody but the millionaire himself; 
vic€ Major Fortescue, who had eyes and ears for nobody but Miss 
Fane. Mrs. Chisholm resented his defection of course ; but the 
keenness of her disappointment was greatly mitigated by the fact of 
the Major's elder and hitherto bachelor brother having suddenly taken 
to himself a wife. Under these circumstances she derived great 
satisfaction from the thought that on the one hand she had lost a 
prize of possibly insignificant value, and on the other she might, by 
cleverly pursuing her flirtation with Mr. Vandyken, achieve a magnifi- 
cent revenge. He apparently lent himself very willingly to her views, 
and the autumn woods were peopled for her with visions of future 
grandeur in Fifth Avenue and Saratoga Springs. 

Geraldine was also happier, for Godfrey had returned to his alle- 
giance, if, indeed, he could ever have been said to have deserted 

His manner had quite restored her easily won confidence ; and if 
she still wondered a little at times whether her suspicions in regard to 
Miss Fane had been just, she was too generous and too delicate to ask 

Christobel was absorbed in her attendance on Miss Millicent, and 
excepting at dinner and for an hour or two afterwards, those out of 
the sick-room saw but little of her. 

When she did appear, the person, after Fortescue, who paid her the 
most attention (although in an odd way) was Mr. Sherlock. 

His interest in her was indeed so marked as to arouse very uneasy 
feelings in the mind of Mr. Hillyer, who was all the more disposed to 
entertain them that for his own part he had made but little way in the 
old Australian's favour. 

Mr. Sherlock remained just the same as in the first hour of his 
appearance on the scene. Quiet, shrivelled, punctilious, with a keen 
eye to his own comforts and an apparent callousness to everything else, 

Christobel, 6i 

his admiration, if such it were, for Christobel only betrayed itself by 
a watchful observance of her that amused her whenever she noticed 
it, and intensely irritated her host. He grew to detest his sister's 
beautiful prot^g^ ; to think badly of her, to wish her more fervently 
than ever out of the house. 

Among all these conflicting sentiments, secret or avowed, the one 
person about whom there reigned a perfect unanimity of liking was 
Mr. Vandyken. He continued to capture all hearts and to keep them 
when captured. In his frequent visits to the Hall he treated every- 
body in the most charming manner — not excepting even Mr. Sherlock. 
In fact he professed for the latter a frank admiration which most 
people attributed to Mr. Vandyken's natural amiability, and to which 
the object of it was slow to respond. But quite unruffled by this 
coldness, Mr. Vandyken never lost an opportunity of claiming the old 
gendeman's "Transatlantic sympathy" for his views and schemes, 
which were many, and he would often laughingly prophesy that Mr. 
Sherlock would be his partner in his next large financial under- 

One day Mrs. Chisholm, putting her head into the library a little 
before the hour for afternoon tea, found Geraldine sitting alone in the 

" My love ! " she exclaimed, tripping forward blithely, " you don't 
go out enough ; you really don't. Now I have just returned from a 
most delightful ramble on the moors. I have even been as far as 
that rise from which one looks down upon the quarry." 

" Alone ? " asked Geraldine, with a slight smile. It was diflScult to 
believe that the widow could find a solitary ramble so pleasant 

"Quite alone — the gentlemen are out hum is everybody 


" Everybody, even Miss Fane. My aunt is much better — ^you have 
beard that both yesterday and to-day she walked about the room 
with the help of a stick ? That being so, I persuaded her to send the 
poor girl out for a little fresh air." 

** Hum — ^the poor girl — ^you persuaded My dear Geraldine, I 

always think you are so sweet — so kind-hearted — so unsuspicious'* 

"Unsuspicious?" echoed Geraldine. But Mrs. Chisholm had 
taken up a magazine, and was carelessly turning over its pages. " Has 
anybody called ? " she carelessly enquired. 

** Only Mr. Vandyken," replied her young hostess, not without a 
spice of malice 

" Mr. Vandyken ! How did he come ? Did he stay long?" Mrs. 
Chisholm asked the questions in a tone of sharp curiosity, very differ- 
ent from her habitual pretty languor. 

" No indeed— only five minutes. He just came with his usual 
kindness to enquire after my aunt, and he even asked at first only for 
Miss Fane, so as not to disturb me, he said" 

A kx>k of contempt, almost of aversion, contracted the pupils of 

62 Christobel. 

Mrs. Chisholm's eyes, as she looked for a moment steadily at Gerald- 

" Very kind! " she commented ; then, as if impatient of further con- 
versation, rose and moved towards the door. It opened before she 
reached it, to admit Christobel. As she advanced, her extreme pallor 
struck even Geraldine, while Mrs. Chisholm icily observed : " The 
air of the moors does not seem to have done you much good, Miss 
Fane. I fear you must have fatigued yourself by walking as far as the 

Then, as her victim sank into a seat without making any reply, 
she swept away with no more substantial satisfaction from her 
Parthian shot than the pleasure of having delivered it 

"You do indeed look very tired," observed Geraldine, kindly 
taking Christobel's listless hand in hers. "I fear your attendance 
on my aunt has quite worn you out" 

A litde quiver ran through ChristobeFs frame. Drawing Geral- 
dine's hands up to her face, she laid her cheek upon them with a 
gesture at once childlike and passionate, murmuring in a low tone 
of exceeding moumfulness : " I am worn out, indeed ; but not with 

The words, the action, so simple yet pathetic, touched Geraldine to 
the heart " You are not happy, I fear. Can I — can nobody be of 
help to you ? " she asked gendy and hesitatingly, fearing even while 
she longed to lift the veil of mystery which shrouded this alluring, 
inscrutable girl. 

"You are right," said Christobel. "I am not happy; but I 
should be silent as to my sorrow, for I cannot explain its cause; 
and I have no need, God knows, to heighten by any appearance of 
concealment the blame which must inevitably attend my present life.*' 

" The blame ! " repeated Geraldine in wonder. 

" Do not even you — sweet and good as you are ! — ^blame me for 
submitting to be maintained by your aunt ? " 

Geraldine hesitated for one moment, but the next, meeting Chris 
tobePs proud yet appealing eyes, she answered readily : " My aunt 
loves you ; she is lonely and old. Why should she not keep you 
with her?" 

" You have a divine .heart," exclaimed Christobel, with a solemn 
fervour of conviction which robbed her words of all exaggeration ; 
" and I feel the full kindness of your generous words all the more 
that, from the moment of my mother's death until I came to live 
with your aunt, my life was very lonely and loveless." 

" But surely you did not live alone ? " 

" Yes. If to be alone means to be cut off from all companionship 
that does not harden and degrade." 

" I can hardly believe you. You must have been hedged about 
with devotion." Poor Geraldine as she spoke felt a passing pang of 
pardonable envy — ^a momentary revival of doubt and pain. 

ChristobeL 63 

" You are thinking of lovers," answered Christobel, with a fugitive, 
rather bitter smile. *' But the garish light of experience shows tke 
seamy side of Mtf/, as well as of every other romantic dream. What 
one longs for in sorrow is to be comforted by someone — ^a mother — a 
sister — ^who asks for no recognition or reward, who is drawn to one 
not by beauty or charms, but clings through good and evil report 
simply because of the tie of blood and kinship. You, who have 
dvelt here, always secluded and holy, like St. Barbara in the tower, 
can hardly conceive what it is to be deprived of all this." 

" You think it ? Ah, how little you know ! " exclaimed Geraldine, 
while a sudden sense of her own joyless youth rushed over her and 
filled her eyes with tears. 

Christobel was startled. This girl, then, on whose lot she had 
looked with envy, who had a home and an assured position, with 
kindred and friends about her, was hardly more happy than herself. 

" How selfish I have been ! I never guessed," she murmured in 
answer to her own unspoken thought. And then, as Geraldine, half 
ashamed, because of her natural sweet reticence, to have said so 
much, struggled to be calm, her guest leant forward and softly kissed 
her on the brow. 

" A very pretty picture, I declare," remarked the dulcet tones of 
Mrs. Chisholm, who, unnoticed, had appeared at the curtained arch 
dividing the library from the drawing-room. Behind her were Major 
Fortescue and Godfrey. 

" Major Fortescue, you have a portfolio under your arm, and I 
have just discovered that you sketch," continued the widow. 
" Here is a subject for you. You might call it ' Hermia and Helena ; ' 
shall we say aiter the quarrel, or before it ? " and Mrs. Chisholm 

" Have you then brought your sketches to show me, according to 
your promise ? " asked Christobel softly of the Major as he sat down 
beside her. 

Fortescue's evident admiration and quiet but watchful devotion 
had touched her very much ; the more so that she had gradually dis- 
covered in him qualities which most people, judging superficially, 
were wont to overlook. Under his languid manners and indolent 
talk she had detected both character and intelligence. Now, as he 
began to show her the contents of his portfolio, she was surprised at 
the extent of talent revealed by them. 

" This is not amateur's work. Where have you studied ? " she said. 

''In France, Italy, but always in rather a dilettante fistshion. I 
am afiraid it has not been my habit to put much earnestness into 
anything — ^until now." — He added the last words in a lower tone, 
and with an earnest, almost supplicating look that did not need much 
coimnent A troubled expression crossed Christobel's face, as she 
turned away her head with a sad little gesture of negation in answer 
to his un^ken request 

64 ChristobeL 

" You know what I mean," Fortescue resumed. 

" Please don't say any more," interrupted the girl, distressed. " If 
you could guess how far such ideas are from me — how they jar with 
all my aims, with my whole life ! " 

He looked perplexed as well as pained, for her manner was unmis- 
takably sincere, and her words amounted to a rejection ; but at the 
same time, in her voice and look there was something sorrowful and 
appealing, almost like a prayer for indulgence, which he could not 

Further conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the post. 
It brought one or two letters for everybody except Christobel, who, 
as Mrs. Chisholm immediately remarked, *' never received any," and 
a telegram as well for Major Fortescue. 

The little widow, having glanced through her own correspondence, 
and being presently at a loss for further occupation, bethought her- 
self of the portfolio and asked Christobel to show it to her. 

" Major Fortescue is quite an artist," she exclaimed, as she turned 
over the sketches. " Who would ever have thought it ? " 

" Not I, for one," said Verschoyle, laughing. " Not, indeed, that I 
doubted Fortescue's ability," he added, " but because of his air of 
graceful leisure, which one takes to be incompatible with work of any 

A curious expression flitted over Fortescue's face. He had been 
standing by the fire in a very thoughtful and silent mood ever since 
the receipt of the telegram, but now roused himself to say : " I have 
had some news which obliges me to return to town, Miss Hillyer. I 
am afraid I must leave you, even before dinner." 

Many regrets were expressed, of course, and Verschoyle tried a little 
persuasion to induce his friend to remain, but Fortescue was firm. 
The news which he had received was important, evidently, for he 
looked sombre but resolute, like a man who is facing a crisis. Only 
when bidding Christobel good-bye did he betray any emotion, and 
then it was visible to no one but her. Her eyes fell beneath the 
grave tenderness of his glance, and she let her fingers dwell perhaps 
a moment longer than was needful in his strong, detaining clasp. 

But except that the colour flushed a litde into her cheeks she 
gave no sign of feeling, and Fortescue dropped her hand suddenly 
at last ; so suddenly, indeed, that it was like an act of renunciation. 
Christobel remembered it later, and was sorry. 

That evening, after dinner, whether from the state of the atmo- 
sphere or some other cause, everybody was singularly depressed. 
Christobel was silent, Mrs. Chisholm bored, Mr. Hillyer morose, and 
Mr. Sherlock sleepy. Godfrey and Geraldine, indeed, looked very 
happy, but as they sat apart and communicated the secret of their joy 
to no one, they did not enliven the rest of the party. 

Into the midst of all this, the sound of the door-bell loudly rung 
fell with a welcome promise of excitement But the next feeling to 

ChristobeL 65 

assert itself was alarm, for the door was flung open to admit Sir 
Edward Meredyth, who advanced hurriedly, looking pale and scared. 
He was a nervous, excitable man by nature, and was too thoroughly 
overwrought at this moment to keep back his bad news. 

" Vandyken," he gasped. " At what hour did he come here to-day ? 
Whom did he see ? " 

" He saw me," exclaimed Geraldine. " He stayed only a few 
moments, and then left to take a long walk, as he said, on the 

"And he went as far as the Quarry, and there he met Miss Fane," 
promptiy interposed Mrs. Chisholm. 

At this, everybody turned and looked at Christobel, who was 
sitting like a statue, with a frozen look of horror, and of something 
deeper also than mere horror, in her bloodless face. She neither 
stirred nor spoke m answer to Mrs. Chisholm's remark, and 
Sir Edward, so excited as to be unable to dwell long on any aspect of 
the question, went on hurriedly': "The most extraordinary circum- 
stance is that if there has been foul play, its object was not clearly 
robbery, for my poor friend's watch and rings are all untouched, although 
his purse is missing. Even the diamond pin in his necktie is still 

" Good heavens ! " exclaimed Mr. Hillyer. " Do you mean then to 
say that Vandyken is — is hurt ? " 

" Hurt ? He is dead ! " replied Sir Edward, every moment more 
distraught " I tell you he was found at the bottom of the old Quarry, 
lying on his face, and so disfigured by the fall as to be unrecognisable 
but for his clothes and his beard." 

" Oh, hush ! " cried Mr. Hillyer, as Geraldine and Mrs. Chisholm 
screamed aloud. " You never told me until this moment," he added, 
angrily. " How could I guess at anything so horrible ? " 

Sir Edward was now striding up and down the room, wiping his 
brow repeatedly with his handkerchief, and talking half to himself, 
half to others, but still too excited to consider anything but his own 

" To think of such an end to his visit," he exclaimed. " Such an 
appalling death. Poor fellow ! Poor Vandyken ! I " 

" Oh, cease," cried Christobel, suddenly springing to her feet, and 
pointing wildly towards the door. But even as she spoke her cry was 
drowned in a shriek of horror, and everybody turning, saw what she 
had already seen : Miss Millicent standing in the open doorway, her 
face ashen-pale and haggard with woe, one shaking hand outstretched, 
the other convulsively clutching the stick on which her enfeebled frame 
leaned for support 

" What has happened ? Who is dead ? " She asked the question in 
a strained, unnatural voice, and fixed dilating eyes of anguish on Sir 

•* Nobody of the family, Miss Hillyer," he began, soothingly. 

VOL. XI- - F 

66 ChristobeL 

She interrupted him. " Speak I " she said, hoarsely. 

The baronet felt desperate. After all, the shock could not be 
great to her, he reflected ; and it was a relief to him to share the 
horror of his news with anybody. 

" A sad accident has happened to my friend, Vandyken. Ifc is 
dead," he answered, bluntly. 

Miss Millicent turned hadf round, as people do when shot through 
the heart She threw her arms suddenly apart ; then, without a ct)\ 
fell senseless into Christobers embrace. 

After this all was confusion. Miss Millicent's maid came rushing 
down in pursuit of her mistress, whom she had just missed. She ex- 
plained that Miss Millicent had been strangely restless all the evening, 
and on hearing Sir Edward's peal at the door had sprung up, saying 
wildly that there was bad news — she knew it, felt it — and she ordered 
her maid to go down and enquire. Apparently, the woman had been 
too slow in returning for the impatience that consumed her mistress, 
and by an effort which, in her actual condition, was little short of 
miraculous. Miss Millicent crept downstairs. 

This and the shock of hearing of Mr. Vandyken's tragical end had 
presumably been too much for her, for she never rallied from this 
second attack. Her mind had been probably going for sometime, the 
doctors said, and this explained the extraordinary part she had played 
on the occasion of the American's first visit to the Hall. At any rate, 
if there were any other explanation, nobody learnt it, for Miss Milli- 
cent never spoke again. She remained in a state of coma for thirty- 
six hours, and then, just as the dawn of the second day broke, she 
died. Christobel tended her with untiring devotion, and was so 
absorbed in her self-imposed task as to overlook, entirely at first, the 
strange, unspoken hostility with which everybody, Godfrey alone ex- 
cepted, regarded her. 

Even Geraldine, although always gentle and even kind, was dis- 
tinctly colder than before. The truth was, she could not entirely 
shake off the impression which she had received from a conversa- 
tion with Mrs. Chisholm on the night when Sir Edward had brought 
his dreadful news. Worn out with fatigue and excitement, she was 
preparing, very late, for bed, when a knock came at the door. She 
opened it to admit Mrs. Chisholm, who advanced with an air of 
portentous mystery which, as her young hostess felt even in that 
moment, sat strangely on her pretty little face. 

" Did you notice ? " asked the widow, without preliminary. 
"Notice what?" 

" Miss Fane's extraordinary conduct." 

" Extraordinary ? I thought her singularly calm and self-pos- 
sessed," replied Geraldine, wearily, being in no mood for gossip. 

Mrs. Chisholm shook her head. " Mark my words, Geraldine ; 
that girl knows more than you think. She was with Mr. Vandyken 
at the Quarry this afternoon. When Sir Edward came in this even- 

ChristobcL 67 

ing I happened to glance at her. She looked terrified before we had 
time to realise that there was any real cause for alarm ; and then again 
when Sir Edward mentioned that his poor friend had not been robbed, 
her expression changed suddenly to one of relief, which, if not alto- 
gether inexplicable, is to be explained only in one way " 

" And what is that ? " 

" I am loth to believe evil," said Mrs. Chisholm, suddenly angelic, 
" but I think — I Mnk that expression meant that the presence of the 
watch and other objects conveyed to that artful creature's mind the pro- 
bability of this shocking death being regarded generally as an accidents* 

" And was it not very natural that Miss Fane — that anybody should 
feel relief from such a supposition ? " asked Geraldine, rather indig- 

Mrs. Chi;^holm looked unutterable things. " I am willing to think 
all that is charitable,'' she replied. " But in some cases instinct is 
stronger than logic. I have always folt that Miss Fane (as she calls 
herself) is an adventuress. Why should she have met Mr. Vandyken, 
evidently by appointment, at the Quarry, unless she had designs on 
him ? She had been in America — she had probably known him be- 
fore. And, Geraldine, you are so unsuspicious, the notion had probably 
never entered your pure mind ; but it is quite, quiie clear that she has 
some secret understanding with Captain Verschoyle." 

This shaft told. Geraldine had made one or two gestures of horri- 
fied protest during Mrs. Chisholm's last speech ; but at the final 
phrase of all, she shrank and was silent. 

Mrs. Chisholm having then achieved her object ; having slandered, 
without giving full expression to her calumny ; having planted a 
poisoned shaft and looked unconscious while doing it, folded her 
" sweet Geraldine " in her arms, and tripped off to rest with a heart 
unutterably lightened. 

The whole of the next day she employed in hints and innuendoes, 
only sparing her remarks to Godfrey, who, she felt, might be unplea- 
santly indignant about them. And she had managed to weave a very 
subtle net of suspicion round the unconscious Christobel, when — unfor- 
tunately, after so much trouble — Sir Edward suddenly burst for a second 
time, like a bombshell on the Hall, and brought a fresh supply of news, 
which, while greatly increasing the mystery of recent occurrences, made 
them much more difEcult, even for Mrs. Chisholm, to fathom. 

{To be concluded.) 





NCE, many years ago, I happened to be much in want of a 
human head — ^and lest such a want on the part of a civilised 
being should appear shocking or even incredible, I hasten to add 
that it was for scientific purposes. But for whatever purposes re- 
quired, it is not an article usually kept in stock in a country town, 
and I had almost determined on making a long journey to London 
in search of it, when I chanced to hear that a notorious murderer 
was to be executed on the following Saturday at Dunchester, a place 
at no great distance, and where I was not unknown. 

Even at that time traffic in the bodies of criminals was illegal, but 
I was aware that in spite of the restrictions of the law it was often 
possible to procure a hand, a foot, or such other small " subject " as 
might be required — ^why not then a head ? Determined at any rate 
to try my luck, I immediately invited myself to the house of a medical 
friend in Dunchester. 

It was with some anxiety that I entered the gaol on that Saturday 
night ; but to my relief I found that the criminal had been without 
friends or relations likely to take an interest in his remains, and the 
obstacles between me and my much-coveted " subject " were compara- 
tively few and slight Still it was not to be obtained in a moment, 
and it was past midnight when it was finally delivered to me, loosely 
wrapped in an insufficient sheet of newspaper. 

" That's all as I could find sir," said the man apologetically, " but 
I suppose youVe got a basket or a handkerchief." 

" Basket ! " I exclaimed impatiently, " of course not — and as to my 
handkerchief I have some other use for it. Give me the head and 
look sharp, there's a good fellow." 

" Well, sir," returned he, handing me the parcel, " I can't say as it's 
very securely wrapped, and " — laboriously turning the big key of the 
postern gate, that opened into the outer air with a grim clanking of 
chains — " Jim he always was an uncommon slippery chap to hold, 
and if I didn't know he was as dead as a door nail, I could take my 
Davy that ugly mug of his was as lively as ever. Good night, sir." 

And while he was still laughing uneasily at his own humour the 
gaol gate banged behind me, and I was alone in the chill darkness of 
a stormy winter's night. 

Dunchester gaol stands in an exposed position on the top of a hill, 
half-way up which straggle a few dingy little streets, so steep that the 
roadway becomes at last merely a narrow flight of stone steps ascend- 
ing between sordid houses. A wind from the North Sea was sweeping 
before it an endless succession of heavy clouds, from which there fell 

The Devil in Dunchester. 69 

at intervals a few cold drops of rain, and it was no easy matter to 
struggle across the bare hill-side, encumbered as I was with a cloak 
and the head, which certainly was exceedingly difficult to hold. 

But at length the worst of the struggle seemed over. I had 
crossed the open ground and reached the top of a narrow alley, whose 
darkness was made visible by the flicker of a few gas lamps, and was 
congratulating myself on the shelter it afforded, when suddenly a 
blast, fiercer than any of its predecessors, swept round the comer of a 
detached house. It caught the heavy folds of my cloak, and wrapping 
them about me, whirled me round and round again, seized the hat 
from my head, and would have driven it eddying away into infinite dark- 
ness, had I not involuntarily put up both hands to save it. There 
was a quick rustle, followed by the flapping of a loose sheet of news- 
paper, and I realised with a shock that the head was gone. 

Yes, there it was, painfully visible under those lamps whose 
obscurity I had a moment before mentally condemned; turning 
towards me alternately as it rolled and bounded from step to step of 
the narrow way, now the uncompromising blackness of its shaven 
scalp, now^ the livid gleam of its sinister countenance. 

A little below me the alley took a sharp turn, and just at the 
comer a stream of light from an open door-way fell across the path. 
Even now in its wild career my twice ill-fated head was hurrying to 
the verge of this luminous streak, and in a moment more, as I sped 
with swift but cautious steps in pursuit, it appeared in bold relief 
against the wet pavement before the door. At the same instant the 
consolatory reflection flashed through my mind that, at the pace at 
which it was going, even if it were seen from within the house, it 
would hardly be recognised for the ghastly, improbable thing it was, 
and if it continued in its present course it must, according to the laws 
of mathematics, be shortly landed in the comer of a blind wall. But 
Jim, I might have remembered, had always preferred the circuitous 
and surprising to the direct course, nor did he habitually hamper his 
movements by any respect for any laws whatsoever. There was a 
diabolical verve about the way in which his head, availing itself of a 
slight unevenness in the slope, dashed against the scraper, rebounded 
at a sharp angle, and bumping down the two descending steps of 
the threshold, rolled into the lighted room and out of sight 

For a moment I stood transfixed ; but to the first thrill of horror and 
amazement there succeeded an ovenpastering impulse to re-capture 
at all risks this thing, this creature of mine, which thus openly and 
at once outwitted and defied me. 

Pulling my hat over my eyes I strode boldly to the door. There 
it lay, at the very feet of a solitary woman, who convulsively grasping 
the seat of her chair, leaned forward, staring at the ghastly intmder 
with a face as pale as its own — ^which was turned towards me with 
what seemed, to my excited imagination, a grin of impudent malice on 
its livid features. I leapt into the room with a yell of mingled rage 

70 The Devil in Dunchester. 

and triumph, pounced upon my prey, seized it by both ears, and 
bounded back into the lane before the poor woman had recovered the 
use of her lungs. In an instant more I was dashing wildly down, 
down I knew not whither, bounding from stone to stone i^ith my 
voluminous cloak flying in the wind, and the shrieks of this last of 
Jim*s many victims ringing ever more and more faintly in my 

Luckily for me, policemen in Dunchester, as in other provincial 
towns, were rare phenomena ; and ceasing to run as soon as all danger 
of immediate pursuit seemed over, I walked on for an uneasy mile or 
so, holding firmly on to the head, which I could not help fancying to 
be on the look out for another opportunity of doing me an ill turn. 

However, I reached my room without further misadventure, and 
retired to bed to spend half an hour before I slept, in resolving not to 
imagine that any noises of any description emanated from the box into 
which I had thrown the head. By the morning, it is needless to say, 
I could laugh at my own folly, and pack up my prize with feelings of 
unalloyed satisfaction. 

But my escapade was not thus to pass into inglorious oblivion. 

Just as my host was starting to visit a serious case in the country, a 
boy arrived with a request that he would step round to see a woman in 
Bishop's Alley, who had taken to her bed in consequence of having 
seen — the devil. The luxury of horror and mystery in which the 
soul of the small messenger was evidently revelling as he made 
this last important announcement, caused my friend much amuse- 
ment, but my own mirth had a hollow ring in it, for I seemed to 
recognise the name of the locality. As my friend could not foresee 
how long he would be detained in the country, I offered to attend 
this apparently slight case for him, and he gladly assented. 

The boy led the way. Once more I was treading, but now with 
what sober professional feet, those uneven steps down which but a few 
hours since I had urged my desperate and disreputable career. I 
found my patient, a respectable, middle-aged widow, lying on her 
bed in a tearful condition, but with all the suppressed dignity of one 
who would not seem too much puffed up by the afflictions which had 
distinguished her. 

" Eh, doctor," she said, groaning. " It's little enough you can do 
for me, I reckon." 

" Ay, sir," put in a consolatory neighbour. " Them as sees dead folks 
as plain as Mrs. Wilkins do, ain't mostly long for this world." 
-^"It ain't that that's on my mind," returned the widow. " I'm pre- 
pared, I am. It's the place as my old man's in, which I never should 
ha' thought it if I hadn't been found worthy to see. You wouldn't ha^ 
said that Tom was particular sinful when he wam't on the spree, would 
you now, Mrs. Cox? But th6 Lord, He knows folks' hearts better nor 
we do." 

Although I was bound to treat her story as the outcome of night- 

The Devil in Dunchesier. 71 

mare or hysterical delusion, I was curious to hear it, and she was most 
willing to tell, though probably for the thousandth time. 

" You see, sir, it was this way. I'd got Mr. Smith's shirts on hand, and 
heard it strike twelve as clear as clear, and I says to myself — *Lord for- 
give me — Maybe it's Sunday and maybe it aint, but I'm going to 
finish this here shirt' Then the door flew open of itself, and I 
thought it was the wind, and I'd shut it when I'd done my button- 
hole; and suddenly I went all of a tremble, and I looked up and 
saw something come hopping down the steps into the room — ^and 
Lord have mercy upon us, if it weren't my old man ! — ^At least he 
hadn't no body, but there was his head as plain as could be, coming 
along all of itself, staring and grinning at me, with his hair all on end. 
He came straight up to me, as much as to say : ' Just hide me under 
your petticoats, Mary Ann, for there's someone I don't much fancy 
looking after me.' And sure enough, before I had time to say 
* Tom,' there was the devil." 
" But how did you know it was the devil ? " I asked. 
" Why, sir, I see him as plain as I see you. He dropped right 
down into the room out of nowhere, something like a man, but a deal 
bigger, and almost as black as a nigger, and with wings and a face 
for all the world like * 'Pollyon ' in the Pilgrim's Progress. He gave 
a kind of roar like a wild beast, and down he came on my poor Tom, 
and then he spread his wings as black as soot, and pretty near as big 
as mill-sails, and flew off and away with him in the twinkling of an 
eye. And, Lord bless and keep us all, I never shall get over it ! " 

" No, indeed, Mrs. Wilkins, I don't believe as you ever will be the 
woman you was, again," chimed in Mrs. Cox, rather by way of 
expressing her sympathy than of stating a fact 

I of course assured Mrs. Wilkins that the troubles through which 
she had passed had unhinged her nerves, and that the whole affair 
was the creation of a disordered fancy ; an explanation which she 
and her friends received with profound scepticism, and which, for 
various reasons, I did not press upon them. Indeed, apart from 
motives of personal convenience, he would have been a hard man 
who, on that happy Sunday morning, could have found it in his 
heart to destroy the pleasing illusion of Bishop's Alley. Never on 
the brightest summer evening had there been such animated groups 
standing at the doors and sitting on the steps. The truth would 
have fallen as a blow on the whole population, from Mrs. Wilkins 
herself to the little match-boy lodging opposite, who had smelt the 
branstone. For, however fallen in the estimation of doctors and 
dignitaries of the church, the devil is still dear to the popular 
imagination, and I doubt not that the legend of his brief but im- 
pressive appearance in Bishop's Alley, even now lends a gloomy 
d^nity to the otherwise sordid shades of that unromantic neighbour- 




IT had been no easy matter for Alick Rogers to win the love of 
Audrey Morrison. 

There was, apparently, no reason why he should have had any 
difficulty over his courting. Audrey had never loved anyone else, and 
Rogers was a tall, well-made man of about thirty ; sufficiently good- 
looking to pass in a crowd, sufficiently gentle mannered not to repel 
any woman, and sufficiently manly to attract one : he was not wealthy, 
but he had enough means to marry comfortably on, and he was a gen- 
tleman by birth and education. But there was a certain amount of 
reserve about him, there were a few oddities of manner and of tem- 
perament, which Audrey could not easily forget or forgive. She was 
the only child of the Squire of Middleburgh, and, as such, had been 
spoiled and petted from her childhood, so that even her sweet, sunny 
nature became more or less capricious and wayward : whilst her per- 
sonal beauty taught the girl, as she grew up, that her power extended 
beyond the home circle, and that wherever she chose she could rule 
and be served. 

However, she never cared for anyone except for Alick Rogers : and 
though she teased him and played with him in the barbarous manner 
of a cat with a mouse, she loved him all the time ; and at last she lei 
him know it. And on the first of May, not many Mays ago, they were 
married amid great rejoicings and festivities, and Rogers carried ofif 
his much-loved bride to his own home in the suburbs of London. 
She was then only twenty-one. 

Audrey grumbled at the house a little, when she found that, 
although he had told her exactly what it was like, it resembled his 
description of it and not her own imagination. It was a "villa 
residence " of the larger kind, detached, and standing in a good- 
sized garden, with a lawn-tennis ground and conservatory. She 
grumbled, too, at its situation at the comer of three quiet roads, with 
nothing but similar villa houses for miles around. But in spite of her 
murmurings, Audrey was a very sprightly young woman, and she 
began life in the highest spirits, dearly loving her husband and impli- 
citly trusting him. She was a giil of some depth of feeling, though 
apparently so careless, and when she gave herself to Alick she knew 
that her love for him was the keystone of her life. 

Her husband, a solicitor, used to go up to town at 9.30 evexy 
morning. Audrey found the days rather long, for he never came 
home till nearly seven, and she had nothing to occupy her time with, 
except such amusements as she could make for herself and the visits 
of friends. These latter were numerous ; for Rogers had lived for a 

long while at L , and everybody was glad to know so attractive a 

woman as his young wife. 

A Modem Faiima. 73 

Even the old bachelor head of the firm Rogers was in, came all 
the way down from town to call on her one afternoon ; and, finding 
her society very pleasant, and her cool drawing-room most comfort- 
able, he actually stayed on till her husband's return. Only one or 
two remarks out of the long chat they had together need be chronicled, 
because Audrey remembered them. She was laughingly complaining 
to Mr. EUerton of the long hours he gave her husband at the office. 

" I do not so much mind his time for getting home," she said ; " it 
is his early start I so dislike." 

Mr. EUerton looked amused. " Well," he said, " I don't know 
what you young people call late if Rogers is early." 

" He leaves home punctually at half-past nine every morning." 

" Really ! So soon as that ! Why he never gets to the office until 

'' It is a long journey for him," Audrey said, and changed the 

That evening, whilst chatting with her husband, Audrey asked him 
a question casually : " How long does it take you, Alick, to get from 
the house to the office ? " 

" How long ? Oh, just an hour," he answered, hardly looking up 
from his paper. 

There was clearly a discrepancy of half-an-hour somewhere. Pro- 
bably old Mr. EUerton was mistaken in the time at which Rogers 

One day, after Rogers had gone up to town, Audrey, amusing her- 
self in tidying up the things in his dressing-room, came across a 
prettily dressed new doll. She laughed a good deal to herself over 
this plaything, took it down to the drawing-room with her, and greeted 
him with his toy when he came home. He seemed vexed, and asked 
her where she had found it. 

" It was in your drawer, Alick. Why should you mind my bring- 
ing it down?" 

" Oh, it's so siUy." 

" What are you going to do with it ? " 

" Give it away, of course." 

And the next morning he started at the usual time with a parcel 
looking veiy much like the doll under his arm. 

Feeling vexed that he had not told her more about it or asked her 
to do it up for him, she did not wave her usual good-bye to him as he 
went out of the drive ; then, a moment afterwards, repenting her ill- 
temper, she ran down the garden that she might see him again and 
greet him from the arbour at its extremity. But by the time she 
reached that spot he had already passed, and was striding down the 
long road that led to the station. Audrey bent forward to look after 

Just before he would have turned out of her sight, he stopped — 
opened the garden-gate of a small unpretending villa-dwelling near 

'74 ^ Modem Fatima. 

the road, passed up the path to the house and entered it; without 
ringing the bell, as it seemed to Audrey, though she could not be 
quite sure at that distance. She coloured up instantly. It was very odd 
if Alick had friends in the tiny house so near, that he had not said 
so, or even mentioned their names to her : and she fell into thought 

Perhaps they were poorish people whom he was interested in and 
kind to, without wishing to bother her about it ; but, if so, why — 
oh, why did he stay so long? It was just half an hour before 
Mr. Rogers came out of the house again, without the parcel, and 
continued his way towards the station. 

Audrey instantly put on her things and went to inspect the villa. 
It was small but very well kept, and the bright face of a well- 
dressed child of about three years old — evidently not a poor child — 
was to be seen at one of the windows playing with the doll she her- 
self had laughed so merrily over the day before. Where was the 
harm in her husband's making a present to any child he fancied ? 
Audrey knew that it was ridiculous to be angry at that ; though if 
she had been a wise woman she would have told Alick that evening 
that she had seen him go into the villa, which was called Rose Villa, 
and would have asked him the name of the child who lived there. 
But Audrey was not wise : she was excitable, impetuous, spoiled, and 
Alick was certainly difficult to deal with in some matters: so she 
said nothing at all about it, and though she was discontented at heart, 
she smiled more brightly than ever and sang to him the whole even- 
ing through with admirable good humour. 

The next morning it was wet. 

" YouTl have to stay in all day, my darling, I am afraid I " Alick 
said, as he stooped to kis^ her before he went away. 

" Yes, I am afraid I shall ! " 

But directly he was gone, she slipped on an old ulster, and taking 
an umbrella frorh the hall, she ran across the garden again to the 
arbour, and again she saw her husband turn into Rose Villa. Audrey 
waited in the soaking rain whilst he stayed there, which was just half 
an hour. She slowly went back to the house, utterly oppressed by 
the missing half hour which Mr. EUerton had disclosed to her, and 
feeling very anxious and unhappy. By and by she found she had 
caught a cold, standing out in th6 rain ; but when her husband 
sympathetically asked her in the evening how she had managed it, she 
replied that she did not know. He noticed that there was something 
wrong with her, but put it down to the cold. 

Every day in the following week, Audrey watched her husband into 
Rose Villa at 9.30, and out 6f it at 10 o'clock. She herself 
haunted it during the • day time. The only people she ever saw 
coming out of it were the bright-eyed recipient of the doll and his 
nurse — for it was a little boy — but she naturally imagined they did 
not live there alone. And although she would not allow her suspicions 
to take any definite form, her husband^s- behaviour with regard to 

A Modern Faiima. 75 

these two was certainly very, very strange, and sfee fretted and grieved 
all the more sadly because any worry was so wholly foreign to her 
nature. Alick Rogers could not imagine what ailed her, and at last 
suggested that she should go away to her own home for change of 

"I cannot possibly leave the office just now," he said; "but I 
would far rather be lonely here without you than see you so fagged 
and low spirited ! ** 

But the more anxious her husband seemed for her to leave him, 
the more firmly Audrey declined to do so. 

There came a day when, in passing, she saw the child playing alone 
in the small front garden. Audrey stopped and spoke to him. 

"What a lot of playthings you have got there ! " she said. 

" Yes, uncle gives me lots and lots." 

But his nurse came Hying out at that moment and called him in, 
as if afraid of his being spoken to, and Audrey learned no more that 
day. She was just a tiny bit relieved by what she had heard, for she 
believed that her husband had never again taken any toys with him 
when he went there ; and as the child had so many, someone else, 
she thought, must give them to him. But, again, the unlucky possi- 
bility occurred to her that Alick might leave the presents on his way 
back from town. Accordingly she stationed herself in the arbour tp 
watch his arrival ; and sure enough that evening he went into the 
villa with a large brown paper parcel and came out of it empty- 
handed ! She took then to watching regularly morning and evening ; 
but hd did not often stop there on the return journey. 

The next time she saw the child playing about she asked him his 

" Alick/' he answered, promptly. 

A horrible shudder ran through poor Audrey. 

" But Alick what ? " she asked 

"Alick What — no, Alick," he said, ignoring like most children 
everything except the name by which he was daily called. 

" Little Alick, where is your mamma ? I never see her." 

"There !" he said, pointing to the nurse, who was coming up now 
to the child's side. 

Audrey would not be scared away. " What a nice little fellow it 
is ! " she said, pleasantly. '' I was asking him where his mamma is. 
I never see her about." 

"Poor little boy! I don't know where she is," replied the nurse. 
"I don't know anything about her." 
. ** Then — is he left entirely in your charge ? — by his father ? " 

" He is entirely in my fcharge. But whether it is his father who 
leaves hhn with me, cir his uncle, as the child has been taiught to call 
him* I don't know. Of course I have my thoughts." 
" A gentleman comes to see him every day, does he not ? " 
*• YeSi J that's the uncle," replied the nurse. " He is mighty kind 

76 A Medem Fathna. 

to the child, and fond of him, and he pays me well for taking care of 
him, and that's all I know about the matter and all that concerns 

" Uncle Alick brings me candy, and toys, and pictures," said the 

" What a good uncle ! " exclaimed Audrey. " I should like to see 
him. Have you a picture of him ? Will you show it to me ? " 

She was feeling desperate. But she wanted to be quite, quite sure ; 
and some little delusive whisper at her heart was suggesting that pos- 
sibly, after all, it might not be her Alick. 

" Have you a likeness of the uncle ? " she repeated, turning to the 
nurse. " If so, I should like to see it." 

She asked this quite desperately ; it was probable that her request 
would reach her husband's ears ; but she did not care what happened 
now that things had reached such a crisis. 

Audrey had been standing all this while in the garden path, and 
the nurse, fascinated by her manner, hurried into the house and fetched 
the desired likeness. There was a thick mist before Audrey's eyes as 
she tried to look at it, but in spite of this she recognised too clearly 
her husband's photograph. 

" He — ^looks very kind — ^your uncle," she said, managing to control 
herself sufficiently to speak, for the little child was eagerly watching 

" He is my dear uncle ; but he told me to call him that only when 
we were by our two selves." 

The child spoke wonderfully distinctly and sensibly; and eveiy 
word he said gave as much pain to poor Audrey as though his tongue 
were literally a sharp-edged sword. 

" You are not well, ma'am ! — Will you come in and sit down for a 
few minutes ? " said the nurse, suddenly noticing Audrey's white face 
and trembling, uncertain manner. 

" Thank you," said Audrey. " I am not feeling well, but I am near 
my home and would rather go back there. Good-bye, little Alick ! " 

She meant to stoop down and kiss the child, but absolutely could not 
bring herself to do so ; she patted his head with her gloved hand, and 
hurried out of the garden gate. 

As she neared her home, her steps became slower and slower, for 
the idea which had taken possession of her mind was that perhaps she 
ought never to go back there. 

Perhaps the only thing in life that was left her was to fly from every 
loved face and familiar association ; to disappear from the world that 
it might never gaze on her wretchedness, and that Audrey Rogers 
should become a name and nothing more. 

It is frequentiy the most trivial circumstances which determine our 
fate for us, and it was so in this case. As Audrey hesitated at the gate, 
whether to enter it or not, her maid came out into the garden to see 
if she could find her mistress and call her in to afternoon tea. She 

A Modern Fatima. 77 

caught sight of Audrey, and saw that she looked pale and ill. Being 
a kindly and observant woman, she said to her : ** I have just this 
moment made the tea, ma'am ; I will bring it out for you under the 
trees, if you would like me to." 

" Thank you, Janet ; I will come in for it," and Audrey followed 
her maid indoors. As she sat at her tea, which calmed her, she made 
up her mind to see her husband once more and to hear what he would 
say for himself ; yes, she would do that. 

She was too thoroughly miserable to attend to the small niceties of 
life. She did not put dessert for dinner, she did not dress herself 
for her husband's arrival ; but in her simple morning frock she stood 
at the window, gazing out of it with the vacant stare of a pre-absorbed 
and pained attention. 

She heard Alick's latch-key in the front door, and she heard his 
cheery voice call out for her directly he entered the hall. When she 
did not answer him, he ran upstairs to their room two steps at a time, 
calling her as he did so ; he came down again in a moment and 
impatiently pushed open the drawing-room door, and there he saw her, 
standing with her back to him. He ran up to her gaily, and, putting 
both his arms round her, he stooped to steal a kiss from her lips. 
Audrey turned round upon him furiously, forcing herself away from 

" How dare you insult me by any such caresses ? " she cried out, 

He looked at her in absolute amazement. Had he only heard what 
she said and did not see her expression, he might have thought that 
she spoke in fun ; but there was a grim reality in her face which he 
could not doubt or deny. 

" My darling, what on earth do you mean ? " 

" Do not call me by that name, do not deceive me any longer ! Tell 
me the truth j tell me you have betrayed me, toyed with me — and let 
me leave you ! " 

A horrible dread, that she must be mad, arose in Alick's mind. 
She was neither acting nor playing, and her words were so utterly 
unreasonable that he could find no clue wherewith to interpret their 

" My dearest Audrey, I do not understand you ; I declare I do 
not Will you not explain yourself to me ? " 

" If you persist in this insolence, I will explain in one way only — 
by leaving you ! " 

And she took some steps towards the door. 

" No, that you shall not do," he said imperatively, putting his back 
against the door, and firmly grasping both her dear wrists when she 
came up to him. " You shall not leave this room until you tell me 
in plain English what you mean." 

Woman like, directly he asserted himself she burst into tears ; and 
thofugh she tried to check them, and still to speak angrily and dis- 

78 A Modem Fatima. 

dainfully, there was a tremor in her voice as she said : " We ought 
to have been so happy ; I had believed we loved each other so 

" And so we do," he replied. " Those wet eyelids of yours tell 
me that you care for me with all your heart What wild notion is it 
that you have got into your head to make you miserable ? " 

" You are cruel to speak to me so," she said, passionately, turning 
from him and growing whiter than she had been before ; " when 
there is a little child not two hundred yards away from the house who 
is — ^who is — ^who " 

" My darling Audrey ! Is — is it Alick you have been worrying 
yourself about ? " 

" His name is Alick — ^yes." 

"Little Alick Somers, my prot^g^, and " 

" Your prot^g^ ! " she scornfully interrupted. " And what else ? " 

" My nephew." 

" That is a convenient name." 

" It is a true one. Alick is the son of my unfortunate sister. 
How is it that you have been troubling yourself about him ? " 

" Tell me all about it, Alick, and then I will answer your ques- 
tions," she said, faintly, as she sat down on the sofa, for she saw 
that he was not deceiving her. 

" You have never heard me speak of my sister Maud," he began, 
sitting down beside her, " because I could only do so with shame ; 
but I will tell you about her now, Audrey. The truest and 
dearest friend of my life was John Somers. We were at school 
together, chums and friends at college, and we went into the law 
together, and seemed likely to get on in it side by side. There are 
not many fellows in the world so loveable as Jack was, and I 
believe he could have wooed and won for himself one of the best 
wives in England ; but instead of that, in some strange fit of per- 
versity, he thought that he loved Maud. Perhaps he did ; but I felt, 
at the time, that her being my sister had something to do with it ; 
and though I warned him against her, for I had always known her 
character too well to admire it, and believed she would never make 
any husband happy, I was, of course, imfortunately, the original cause 
of their soon knowing each other." 
" Did they marry ? " 

" Yes, just four years ago, about the time when I first met you, 
Audrey. Poor Jack ! He repented his marriage only once, and that 
has been always. From the very first, Maud, by her wild extrava- 
gance, did her best to ruin him. She never in the least cared for 
him ; and her only ideas of wifely duty were that she should go her 
own way and enjoy herself as much as she could. They were not 
wealthy, and she spent more than double their income, doing this so 
persistently, and indeed secretly, that Jack knew nothing of the large 
expenditure until the bills began to come in thick and fast upon him. 

A Modern Fatitna. 79 

Also she interfered much with him personally, unfitted him for his 
office work, and still they fell deeper and deeper into debt." 

" But were there no means by which he could have stopped it ? " 
intemipted Audrey, breathlessly. 

" Jack was a bit weak, I admit,'' said Alick, " not to assert his 
authority, and insist upon his wife behaving herself; but Maud had 
a most violent temper and a persistent will. At last a crisis came. 
Jack's afiairs became hopelessly involved, and to avoid legal proceed- 
ings and inquiries, which might have brought I know not what of un- 
pleasantness, he ran away from the country to escape his creditors. 
Poor fellow ! he believed there was nothing else left for him to do. 
His wife refused, point blank, to accompany him. She went off to 
the Continent with some gay friends of her own making and choosing, 
and there she is living still. She went off before her husband. Their 
child, who was named Alick, after me, was then two years old, and 
poor Jack sent for me one evening, only an hour or two before he left 
England, and begged me for the sake of auld lang syne to look after 
his boy, and do my best for him. Maud had not taken him with 
her, and Jack could not take him. * This is the only comforting 
piece of the whole business, for I would rather send my child to be 
brought up at a charity-school than leave him with his mother,' said 
poor Jack. Of course I promised I would do my best It was no 
veiy pleasant burden, that of a child whose father had been obliged 
to leave the country for debt, and whose mother will have nothing to 
do with him ; and just at that time, too, my fate, which was in your 
hands, was trembling in the balance ; but I couldn't have failed Jack. 
And besides the boy was my own sister's child, so that he had claims 
on me on both sides." 

"Alick ! Alick ! " Audrey whispered, repentantly. 

" So I took two rooms in Rose Cottage, near at hand, brought 
little Alick to it, and engaged a nurse to attend him ; and there I expect 
they will stay until his father comes home again, for Jack is making a 
good start now in America, and I do not doubt that in a year or two 
he will be able to pay off every penny he owes and come back to us all." 

" But why did you not tell me all this ? " Audrey gently asked her 

" Because I was a fool, I suppose," he rejoined. " I hated the sub- 
ject, Audrey. The child is here in hiding, as may be said, lest Jack's 
creditors should hear of him, and beset me to know where Jack is to 
be found ; and I shrank fi-om telling you of my own sister's folly. 
Will you forgive me, Audrey ? " 

She burst into tears and fell into his arms ; and there she told her 
own tale, sobbing with contrition. 

" It is I who should ask forgiveness, Alick. Can you forgive me 
"—and love me again ? " 

" My dear wife, I think this must teach us both a lesson — ^always 
^ the future to trust each other entirely." 

8o A Modern Faiima. 

It was a good and generous answer, and Audrey felt it to be such ; 
and never in her life had she loved her husband so dearly as when 
she looked into his eyes that evening, and felt that nothing on earth 
would ever make her doubt him again. 

In the morning they went together to Rose Villa to see the little 
boy. Audrey carried him home with her to spend the day. Hence- 
forth, the little fellow's life would not be so lonely, whether his 
parents came back to him, or whether they remained in exile. 

H. F. 


Great waters gleam about thy base, 
And on thy sombre storm-hewn walls 
No clinging ivy tendril crawls ; 
But the fierce white foam falls 1 

High o*er the thunders of the surf, 
Where mingled seas from east and west 
Wrestle and moan in deep unrest, 
The eagle hath her nest I 

Forth from the Pole the icebergs sail, 
Silver and steel each gleaming spire, 
Castles aflame with frosty fire, 
Where Death hath his desire ! 

Swift ships pass by thee, speeding north, 
To other lands where skies are bright, 
Fearful lest in thy wrathful might 
Thou hold them in their flight I 

Grim watchman at the southern gates, 
Where never sunbeam parts thy cloud, 
Enwrapped in thine eternal shroud. 
For thee the winds pipe loud ! 

The strong-winged sea-birds flit and cry. 
Wheeling about thy pathless steep 
Like ghosts of those who in thy deep 
Lie drowned, but cannot sleep I 

Where hungry whirlpools grind the rocks. 
And countless leagues of storm-vexed main 
Shriek at thy feet in frantic pain. 
Thou countest up thy slain ! 

T. S. Cunningham. 



The Pttblie Verdict is that they are Unequalled for 


Pkice from ovbk 

£4 4s. Od. 5,850,000 

T:i; pK «ol. Discount for ^' thbse 





P.r2/6w«t. ANNUAL SALES 

V.'-.A Opiion of Purcbase. bxckbd 

, — 600,000! 

l-slruMo^ free. t. A.Mi L.,u«.,^, .. 

~ ' ^U^hinp uDle» Iha Company** 

PRICE LISTS GBATIS. ^""..."r.r""''"'"''" " 


lamgement for United Klngtlom, 39. FOSTER LAHC, CHEAPSIOE, E.O. 

And <03 Branches Ihronghout Great Britain and Ireland. 

Ooodall's H ousehold Specialities. 


The most Delicious Sauce in the World, 

Makes the daintiest Dishes more dehcious. 
Bottles, ed.. Is., and 2s. each. 


The only substitute for Eggs yet discovered. 

One Sixpenny Tin will go BS far as Twenti; ^BS*- 
Sold in Id. Packets, ed. and Is. Tins. 


Uahes Delicious Custards without Eggs, and at Half-price. 

In Boxes, 6(1. and la. each. 

Proprietors: GOODALL, BACKHOUSE ft CO.. Leeds. 

I'or 100 exceUent and palatable HOUSEHOLD RECIPES 

Write to GOODALL, BACKHOUSE £ CO., Leeds, 

' 'I^Dg a Penny Stamp for postage, when yon will be presented with a valuable book 
iro pages, bonnd in cloth, and fully illustrated, called, '■ Qood Things," MADE, SAIP, 
"•D OoNC, FOR Every Howe and Household. 


<< r«rrIMv«MH*-ir«(rUlaiu 

« Ih « VlHHM-ifa boUtnt » 

>■ Mmlntetr wjtrtmf." 

Allen ^ Banhmryi 


A kigkhc<mtiiitrciUdandul/-digistitigiii. _.^.. ,._.,, - ,, , ^ _, , 

a»md for a* fitrmMm of firm fiish and b«uiiK a partially solkbli and lasUy asnaiMU f am. i: 
alio affardi « tudtNifif Bint luallkful ditt for Invalidi and liast oj a dysptpUe Undtitcy. 

" Mt chUil. •«« being at DwHU'i door for weakj ftom sihr"-"— — "-" "- — .-'- HI 

immba^loTtMMaivJormofliifimU' Food- or Milk.btpaio 


youKg ihildrtn; supplyoig aU llut ii 

. _ LmniBdiMely^a took JOBI IM 

lu • ii«D luiioi sDcu •» .M.-— u.u...~~ Ja Hsigbt » luiillT u ha hu done." __ 
PiirflkA' Tatimmv and full Dirictiont atamfany lach Tut. 

TINS, 6a., 1b., 3s., 58., and IPs., Hetall everywhere. 



A Urge variety of Patterns with both PLAIN and FANCY ed;es 
always kept In stock. 







JAMES EPPS & CO., Homceopathic Chemists. 



ire I Chuis Cl. 

[KDiasanoH. lui 

the blood tbonn;!.' 





E. ElBTLET & 00., nnindlfi, BUSFOBS, 
Savins ot 26 to 60 per cent. 

Does not Injure the 
Requires Mo Brushing. 

The Best in the Market 



Cools and refreshes the ia.ce, hands and arms of aV 

exposed to the hot sun and dust, and eradicates Sun 

burn. Tan, Freckles, Eczema, Stings of Insects, &c. 

Ask anywiure for Rowlands' Kalydor. 




J'nfeetlr/ harmlct; it may beiued 
/retly at tftat at detired. 

Guanleid calinl^ free from *kj opiita or 

iniUDt hi relievbE Iii&d» fn>m 


i*Ki la. p/r Btlili at ail aumiili. «t /rii by 

T. KUTUa, Cbvolrt, St PMl'MADdon. 


HO DiaSASI! OR IU> HEALTH can pOMibly loos eiiit wh«ra theM B 
a vuied ud peiiecl ua their oporatioiu. Tiy Hop Bitlsn ta-^f. 

Mn btkadofMU Clumiiti IkrouxliiMt Ikt WbM. 

Id Su powder. 

Cr Um It Every 


!■ SELF-DiaSSTINO, uid suppllea ezftoUy tha 
nouiiahmeat required for InfknU and Tonng 
ntalna all tbe bone and fleah-forming oonitltuents, 
■west fooda now to azteiulTely adTertUed. 
IIBS, and Mannfiwtured fMlaet Twen^Teanbr' 


., Ze,, 6l. BDd lOl. eadi. Obtaiitablt ttitrjm>li*rt. 

ntla and deioriptlTe notlciM ol Uiia old-eeUbtlihed Tood are 
being oopled b; makan of imltativa and Inferior artiolea. 


fennlngfChlldfW'i PomteriPnnnlCenrultloni,^ FEIININDS' LUNC HEALERS. 

An CooUKO UP Smthuo. ti y^, B,,, RimDT to Cut* all 

FEiailCS' CHILDDEI'S POWDEBS " oonoHa,<j(.ujs,ASTHicAB,«.. 

FnCbiMioiCnlllai tbalrTvatb.topmaitCoanilikiBi. rn Sold in Boiei. tin. Hd.mi u 9^., witbdiree 

Sold in SlMDpwl Baimt, u 11. ly. ind u. jj. ((real I Thi largat tut Bua. 11. gd. (jj iU«pI. test 
MvinB, with fDlf dincttooa. Smt pMl-ft«i lor ij •ttmpi. 3 f"'). eiMaui Ihnt lnw I** fli.«(iv e/ l*( jbh;/ 
DiiMt to Altud FanHiiiaB, Wat Cow«, I.W. n Wa. 

Rnd FvnUun' Bran Hsthiri Book, wbich cod- ^ Rod FaimlBp' BTTCTtodT'i Doour. Stat 
luini valiubU Hutt oa FiidikcTutuiko, Weahiho, poit-iioB, n >i»"P»- Direci A. Fibbinoi, W.« 


CoDiiitinf Kiglj of Itas Ficot Cocoa Bcuii with the ci«u of Fil eilcKled. lUde 
loitantiuouslr with boilLog naier. Keep* in nil Cllmaiei. Pilitabia without Uilk. 

Tui PAcuLTr pronounce il "iba moil natiitiosi. peifedlT digetlibla BcTtiage foi 
BUAMAST. LUHCHiOK. 0[ SuFriK, ind invkluible for Invalid) and Children." 

Four timei th« strsn^h of prflparaiioni thickened yet weakened with arrowroot, 
•laicb, Ac, and ia realitr cheaper than Hch miilorei. 

A IBUpoonfal lo a Breakfast cup, eating lets ihic a Halfpannjr. 

CocoATiHA A LA Vahillb Ii themoii delicate, digeitibia, eheapetl VuiUa CbocoIM*. 

ud ouy be taken wbao ricbet Cbocolaie is prohibited. 

Sold br all Chemiiti and Grocen. in eir-tight tioi, at 11. U.. 31., ;i. M., fte. 



i4 and Trade Uark. 

H. LAMPLOPGH. Conanlting ChemlBt, 113, Holborg, Londo n, B.C. 
SA VE 30 per Cent, by Direct Trttdhig T 

-vt',:- PURE ffiSS 

15^ Tht$e Goods are ef 
staititiri gnalily — tqual U 
the bisl makes. 

la The HOPWOOD KunntotBTlng Oo.. fVwcni MiUi, BopwDoa, 
- -- " to e/ Da»_ 


AUPilrerIt CitrnagI Fauttontarcsl Railaay Statim, at ptr PtKili Posl. 



10 take pleasant Work at their Owu 
R-Viti. 2s. to 6s. a day easily made. 

ITc-rit mt by Parcili Post. No canvassing. 



Great Reduction in price to 9d. per lb. 

MLSSRS. A. NEWHAM & CO. arc now offering 
t^- .TtJilr reduced pncea: 

6fi.]iD.b73 ft.&iD-,«eichinK40tlA. SQi. OA. 

LOWS. 6 ft. e io. by 1 fi. fi ia., weieh- 

iDESoibi. iTi. sa. 

toAs »".■*".'. ^* ;"";''™ .'«i. sa, 

'^; 1 EiTRA Sirio Bid, Botitsu, end 
Two Pillows, 6 ft, fi in. by j fl., 

wtiftaatSi lbs 48i. U, 


All- u»d bed only 9ii. pec lb., iocItidiDg Fembeii 
-■- wbM (bordered) bck. miking, Tackinn,*!!™^ 

' j.'*S^i™Btd«. splendidFea^her^ Linen TicE, 
Xrr lb. Samples of Fulher* and Ticki, Piice 
L :>, &c pou Iree. Agcnu wanted. 

_M aden mnil be tent lo A. Newhah ft Co.. 

- ' ^rmeu iboold be nude ^ Cheque or P.O.O.. 
~^:.cii. to insore ule delivery of Gooda, may bepni- 
■^'ti ttn itajt- Penlben onJj, ^, per lb. A ereat 
^'1; Ode on tluee or mme bedi. Tbe Trade >up- 

If jea with to be w»ll and keep well, take 

'nrASHINa (at Homa). — Letter 

'* fnnnaPuicliueiDf Iba ' Voml ' A i Uacbine. 

Washing MubilHa. from 

es 1B»., sent carriage free and 

_ irialfree. Manxes from £1 M. 

I Laundrr reaolsiles ot all 

■ kinds. WrUt JBT Calalegu 

}pinil>nl cf HO Pulcluacn. 






C BtrdonUn Quidrillci. y-/ 



■Ill r AKDPBIULIAamrTS.— AuTnuiar 
MAI h MimuieumMkaiaannAiDATit 
lllnL.1. bona. K 70U u« mas«d daring tb* 

IM, B^^t atTMt, London. W, 


If etfectiiallT nibbed on the Neck and Chest, as 
Salt into Meat, it cures SORE THROATS, 
COLDS, and even ASTHMA. It ii woDder- 
fuUy efficacioui in casei of GLANDULAR 
alto for SKIN DISEASES it it UDcqusUed. 

puticularl; if Holloway'i Pillt betal" * 

ing to directions, 10 Purif)' the Blood. 

M taken accord- 

AnitlT-Lcal Rtpon rmm CBO. H. DOSTDCK. Bvi, F 

■lad OBual. lai9teT7.1akfl^0nB(*.te.,iiiAkB 
■Ml DrlDkh nriid vWi vfdHf plain of a«r»*d iTor 



Tha moat uniqne, useful, and elegant 
Ladies' Companion ever offered to out 
readers. It contains the following articles : 
Crochet Hook, Stiletto, and Buttjo Hook, 
each with handsome Ivory handle, pair ol 
Steel Scissors. Thimble, Ivory Bodkin, and 
Needle case. 

Thewholeof the Eight Art ii'es mentioned 
above are enclosed in either a. Crocodile 
Leather or Silk Plush Case, beautifully 
lined aod fitted with Scarlet Velvet and 
Silk, and in the Lid is a handsome bevelled 
Mirror. The Tray containing the Scissors, 
&c . can be removed, and beneath is a re- 
ceptacle for Fancy work or Jewel Case ; the 
whole is surmounted with a Nickel Silver 
Plate, on which we will engrave any name 
or initials ailhout any ixlra ehargi. Price. 
free by Parcels Post, 51. ijd., or 71 Stamps. 


16, Wine Omce Coa rt. Fleet Street. EC . 




eld at an ixtraordinary Sacrifitt. Snitablt for Ijidy or GntUamn. 

LADES, post flree, 22 Stamps ; 2 BLADES, post free. 
IS Stamps, 

1 T before in the history of the Cutlery trade has such anofferbeen 

a tbe British public, and only for a short time will it be continued, 
ting the Kni»es, thoy only require to be seen to effect an imme- 
learance of tha whole stock ; and we respectfully ask each one of 
usands of readers of this Magazine to send for one as a sample, 
ow their friendSi feeling conlident that every purchaser will be 
d and astonished. The blades are of the finest Steel, and the 
It can be had in either White, Black, or Brown, with German 
Plate (or Name. 
\ralid LUt% of SpecialilUs and Noveltin post frti on apflUation. 

T. SMITH, 15, Wine Olce Court.Fleet St., E.C. 


Possessing all the properties of the Finest Arrowroot, 


Is a Household requisite of constant utility 
For the Nursery, the Family Table, and the Sick-Room. 

Note.— PurcAdstn should insist on being supplied wilk Brown & Poison's Corn Flour 
Inftrior kinds, asserting fictitious claims, are being offered /or the sake of extra profit. 

""yrX'S'.'l'S'E"^'""- JEWSBURY & BEOWN'S 




Fabrloi, ftc. 

Thi Una 
Thfl B. M. 

^..,^,.., .~. .,__^^.^, .u. -.^JE. Ii is ihc most enfcci Enolllcnl HIIJi «« 
, snd HO LAST oho vjjnei bei Compleiioa thould >vci be oiitioui it. All OWTA- 
irom luc i>iics oi Stingi of Idhcis is also allsyed bj its luv. 

Boi|]«l„ofallCbeiDiii9. Frcefor 3d. eiIra.bT ibc Sole Mtken. 

H. BBBTHAM A SON, ChemistB, CbelMnhRiu. 


AUGUST, 1885. 


L The Mystery of Allan Grale. With an Illustra- 

Hon by M. Ellen Edwards. 

Chapter XXVIII. Walking to the Court. 
„ XXIX. Called in to Mrs. Grale. 

„ XXX. A Telegram. 

,. XXXI. Something Found. 

II. Thought-Reading at Lady Clanjamfry's. By G. B. 

III. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, By Alice King. 

IV. Christobel. Part the Second. By Joyce Darrell. 
V. A Heroine of the Gutter. 

VI. The Invalids' Corner : A Sketch. By J. E. Panton. 

VIL Cyril Trevor's Wood-Nymph. 
VIII. A Love Plaint. 

All Manuscripts and Communications must be addressed to the Sub-Editor of 
Thb Argosy, 8, New Burlington Street, W. From the large number of Articles 
received, it is impossible to return them unless accompanied by stamps. The 
Publishers cannot be responsible for articles accidentally lost. 


RICHARD BENTLEY & SON, 8, New Burlington Street, 

Publishers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, 




"Thi» is not thy Home." — Chaucer. 
" Life is the Problem ; death the Solu tion."— Victor Hugo. 


When ana bj oos out lia an Mtn, I When nu It MftilMMlnnmni- 

Aod friCDd&am friend li uutcbcd forloni; | 'Tli Nanire'i kinded bmudiE. 


Or • llfa completa in all itsiUtM.l^on the whole deiinble,bat eilniH)T nit. 
Bm a «1m onerrance of tba limple lam of Nalura will rvdatm iha obKEren 
^om Ihg bell of man* ailmaDii lo the pundiaa of a eleanrable siiiusa. ud 
conducl them (hroilgh lilt titftot] j, geallj. and leTeDeJ j to id farofftennJuliiH. 

U Ibia D«th ? Dreaded thlsi, 


I have a Green Old Ag:e— I use ENO'S FRUIT SALT. 

An nuoliciled Tottlmonal from a (eallenua, an 7.S.A~ who la ddw >b»i 
eUfatT 7.U* of a«e, uyt:-- 1 have fora Ion; time Died WtOt nOH ULT: 
I bane fbond it an elTecliTe Tel genlle apeneet, irtij beneficial lo penoDiof 
ledeslirT habitt. eapcciallT lucb at eierciie not ibe limba bot Ibe bnin. ltd 

to the quaalilr taken, eilbei et • relierioK medictoe, oi at a coolint and nfisb' 
Ingdrluki and I ameonnnced that It doet net weaken, while il uimDlalea." 

-pHTSIOAL AND ICXNTAI. TOU..— ' ■ 1 am working from betWMn aii and teren in the 
■^ mnmlnaaDtll leb and eleven, and verjr often twelve o'clock at ni|!bt the year roimd and on m Sundir 
moninK I nke up aa uoal a liltle afui lii o'clock, but I unilad Ibat il ii a day of real. My head feels lirec 
and he«Ty, I take two leaipoonfuia of your Fruit Sail about half an hour before breakbtl, and allti biol 
feat il hat removed tba load from my bead and I feel ' like a giant reFreihed with wine.' For loae jrut I 
luTerecelTed miKbbwiefil from your Fruit Salt. I have recommended it toman*.— YonitAc.ASoior 
Toil Uarch,i88]. Ur.J.CEiia." 

HEACAOHB AKD DISORDBKBD aTOHAOE.—" After inffeTiDX forneulytwoind 
a half yean from wrere Imdacb* and diaordered itomacb and after iryiai[ almoii everriblni ud 
apeDdinc mncb nuner, wiibool Godini anybraeCt, 1 wat recommanded byalrlMUl la try your PStFlT ULT. 
and before Ihad finitbed one bonle I found iidolu raea greu deal of (ood. and now I am leinred lo mi 
Biual healib: and otben I know ibai have tried it bBT* aol enjoyed anck (Ood health for ysara^Yosra iwi 
Imly, RouaT HimpnaiTi, P««l OSIu, Barraafbrd." 

SODDEN EMEBQENCT.— Feverish cold, wltb blgb temperature and quick pulse. 
Ton can control the trickling stream bnt not the raffing torrent. 

■■ We b»e Ibr (he lait four jeara nted yonr TMntt SALT dorlgi levBal Imponaot Surrey Bipediliou 
in tbt Ualay Panintnla, Slam, and Cambodia, aad have nndoubledly derived v«ry great bencBl fmn il. li 
one Inliane* only wat one of onr party attacked with Forer daring thai period, and thai happened alter «i 
■apply or nutt SALt had ran ont. When making long marchet nnder the powetfcl rBTt of a Terticil ud. 
or ira*ellini thnngh iwamiiy ditlricn, we have otad ibe FBUIT SALT two and ibrce timet a dai. Tbt 
raUIT SUT acta aa a gentle aperient, keept tba blood cool and heiliht, and waidi oS (ever. We bit 
pleatnrs is TolDDtaHly Mttifying iDibevalneof Toarprapantion, and our firm belief in ilieScaey. Weeevti 

S inlolhejnn^ without II. and have alto recommendedil to olbera—Yanra truly, Commander At. Lorrn, 
aSiamcM Majaty't Mydrograpbei ^ E. C. DaviMOH, Snperiniendeni Slameie Government leleftipliSi 
Ba^kok, Siam, May. 1BS3.— J. C. Bho, Eiq., London." 
ipHK SBOKET OF SUOOBSS,— " A Daw iavenlion ii brought before the public, and coiii- 

fiiart(i"B»0'a FRDITBALT." waiMl-l 
Y ALL CHEMISTS. Diratiaa i* Si^i" 

Prepared onlyatESO'S FBUIT SALT VOBKa.Hatoham. London. 8.E., by EDo'tPttont. 


B- J. jh MM^^m HemstiEched. 

POCKET -it, >,£S" 

"Tlie Cambrica of RoUnion aad Cleaver have a 


AUGUST, i88s. 




TTHERE was one household in Bering whose monotony, through 
^ those quiet months of Spring, was that of happy domesticity 
and enthusiastic labour. That household was Dr. Palmer's. 

Charles Carr had not yet succeeded in perfecting the invention 
which had occupied so much of his time and thoughts since he left 
Mr. Grale's. His attention had several times been called off to other 
kinds of work whose success was definite and their reward sure ; and 
though Dr. Palmer was always the first to encourage him in his more 
ambitious attempts, he was also the last to discourage him in the plain 
conunon-sense view of the practical needs of life. " Genius — ima- 
ginative, creative, or inventive — will keep," reflected the Doctor. 

Lettice was not quite so sure of this. " Hard, practical work may 
spoil one for other things," she pleaded. " If a man worked in a 
counting-house or a carpenter's shop, he would be fit for little but 
rest when he had finished his day's labour. His imagination would 
be too &int to soar." 

"Facts are against you," said Charles Carr. "Shakespeare owned 
and managed a theatre ; Bums held a plough ; Spinoza made spec- 
tacles* A man cannot help his fellow-creatures unless he knows 
exactly how they stand, by standing even with them. Why, Lettice, 
it is ^e intimate knowledge I got of Mr. Grale's machinery when I 
was writing in his counting-house, that started me on the quest which 
is to make my fortune some day ! Make my fortune ! It is a great 
leap, Lattice. Do you wonder that I hesitate before I finally gather 
myself up to pursue it ? " 

Lettice saw nothing. There was a conscious look on her sweet 
lace. Agnes laughed and lilted : 

" He either fears his fate too mach, 
Or his deserts are small, 
Who dares not put it to the touch 
To gain or losa it all." 

82 Tlic Mystety of Allan Grale. 

Lettice Palmer looked wistfully at her sister. Agnes's laugh was 
not quite a happy laugh. There had been something about her 
lately which Lettice could not at all understand. She indulged no 
more in those dreamy " talks " in which happy girls delight, and for 
which Lettice often longed. The happy old friendship between her 
and Edgar Vivian seemed to have come to an end, just when Lettice 
had hoped it would grow to something more definite. Yet she felt 
sure Agnes did not love him less. 

" Do you treat us to those lines to stimulate my ambition, Agnes? " 
cried Charles. "I can assure you it does not need stimulating. 
Having got through my latest bit of * practical work,' I am once more 
prepared to * dream and endeavour.' I am now near successor 
failure. Nay, I might almost have decided my fate by this time, if I 
could only find one of my tools." 

" Dear me," said Lettice ; " one of your tools ! Have you mis- 
laid it?" 

" I cannot tell," Charles answered. " I cannot remember when I 
last liad it ; but not for a long time. The fact is, it is not mine. 
Months ago, thinking I might suddenly have occasion for such a 
thing, I got this one from Mark Acland." 

" Mark Acland ! " echoed Agnes. " Does he go in for mechanics ? 
I thought he was all poetry and romance." 

Her tone was playfully mocking. Mark Acland was an old school- 
fellow of Charles's. He was training now for a medical man, and 
was with a surgeon in general practice at Sladford, a thriving country 
town a few miles beyond Carstow. 

" Acland is a good fellow," observed Charles. " He heard me say I 
wanted this thing, and he told me he could get it for me, and he got 
it I never used it ; the trouble at Mr. Grale's occurred about that 
time, and that is how it went so completely out of my head. Apart 
from wanting it myself now, I ought to think about returning it to 
Acland, and I can't find it anywhere." 

Where did you keep it — or put it ? " questioned Lettice. 
Well, to tell the truth, Lettice, that has gone out of my mind as 
completely as the instrument itself seems to have gone. When it 
first came to me, I put it in the drawer of my desk at the counting- 
house " 

" It may be there still," interrupted Lettice. 

*^ No. I think I must have brought it home with me. I meant 
to bring it I know it was not in the drawer the day the desks and 
places were being searched by Mr. Grale. If it had been there, I 
could not have failed to see it" 

Charles Carr alluded to that past incident without any bitterness. 
The wrong had been set right, and it had left no gall in his sweet 
nature. Since Mr. Grale's conversation respecting Charles with Dr. 
Palmer, the manufacturer had given the young num many valuable 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 83 

suggestions concerning his invention, and had offered him every facility 
for experiment among his machinery. 

" Nothing of much consequence was in your desk that day, I fancy, 
except the mysterious manuscript,'' laughed Agnes. " Is it destroyed, 

« Never mind the manuscript/' replied Charlie, his face flushing. 

"What sort of an instrument was it — the one you have mislaid?" 
she asked. 

" It is a watchmaker's hammer," he replied. " I think I'll go 
down to the works this afternoon and ask the counting-house clerks 
if they remember seeing such a thing." 

" Why yes, that's what you ought to do, Charles. It may be lying 
about there yet, in some comer or other." 

In the afternoon Charles started upon his expedition. Later, 
Lattice set off to walk to the Court. Agnes would not go with her ; 
she seemed never to care to go there now. It was a lovely day ; and 
the scenery was fair, around. But there can be no fair picture without 
shadows ; and in the time of our sunshine these shadows arc cast by 
the sorrows of others. 

Charles walked straight into the counting-house. He was very 
welcome there. He had always been a favourite, and everybody was 
glad when the cloud was lifted off him, especially as it proved 
Mr. Grale to be in the wrong. 

" I am come in to ask if any of you have seen a watchmaker's 
hammer lying about," began Charles. 

The clerks turned their faces towards him. 

"A watchmaker's hammer !" echoed one. " No ; I've not" 

" I remember seeing such a thing," spoke up Mr. Wilton. " And 
I remember " 

" Why that there must be what the master wanted," interrupted the 
office boy eagerly. " He set us hunting for it" 

" Speak when you are spoken to," said Mr. Wilton, sharply to the 
boy. " I was about to add, Mr. Carr, that such an instrument as you 
speak of was lying about, and when it was wanted, it could not be 
found. It was sought for high and low." 

"We did not know whose it was," said Mr. Mawson. "Nobody 
claimed it, and we supposed it must belong to the man who had come 
to mend the Mill clock, and that he had taken it away with him." 

Charles reflected. " He may have mistaken it for a tool of his 
own," he said. " When was that ? " 

" Oh, a long while ago. It was last year." 

" It was before the young master went away," again put in the boy, 
regardless of reproof. " I remember his standing by the man while 
he was about the clock, and talking to him." 

Old Mr. Wilton looked at the boy severely. Nobody ever spoke 
of the young master now, save, perhaps, in a whisper. Allan Grale's 

84 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

prolonged absence, and the lack of any news of him, was creating a 
very uncomfortable sensation in many minds regarding him. 

" Speaking of the young master puts me in mind of the time,'' said 
Mr. Mawson, in a low tone. " The clock was mended very shortly 
before he went away ; I am sure of that. It must have been some- 
where about the middle of October, Mr. Carr." 

" And you don't remember seeing the hammer since then, Mr. 
Mawson ? " asked Charles. 

" No ; that was what we all said when Mr. Grale asked for it None 
of us could remember seeing it since the clockmaker was here. I 
think it was two or three weeks after the clock was mended that the 
master asked for it" 

" October," mused Charles, aloud, " and now we are at the end of 
May — so it is getting on for eight months since the thing vanished. 
Well, I must get another, if it can't be found. It was a borrowed article. 
I dare say the young fellow who lent it me thinks I mean to stick to 

After leaving the works, Charles encountered Lettice Palmer. He 
told her that his errand had been fruitless : bringing only the poor 
satisfaction of knowing that the hammer had been lost at the Mills, 
instead of being mislaid at home. 

" But if you left it lying about when you were there," said Lettice, 
'* the sight of it ought to have reminded you to take care of it" 

" So one would say," answered Charles. " Yet perhaps I had eyes 
for nothing but my papers, Lettice." 

He wanted her to say something about the " mysterious manu- 
script," as Agnes would certainly have done. Charles was in high 
spirits to-day. Although he never mentioned his chance of " success," 
without hinting at the possibility of " failure," yet he felt pretty well 
secure of it now. 

Lettice did not take the hint She walked on demurely, though 
with a slightly-heightened colour. 

" You take no interest in my papers, do you, Lettice ?" he remarked. 
" Not even in what Agnes calls the * mysterious manuscript ? ' You 
have not as much curiosity as she has." 

" Nor so great a love of teasing," returned Lettice. " If you wish 
to show it to us, you will do so." 

" Some day," he answered. 

" When you think right," said Lettice again, walking very erectly. 

" When I'm an inventor with a fortune in prospect That will be 
time enough. I shall be able to afford being laughed at then." 

" If you cannot trust your friends not to laugh at you now, I should 
not care to trust them then. But men feel so differently from women. 
Men cannot risk their dignity even to assure themselves of — any- 
thing ! " 

*' I think you are rather hard on me there, if you include me in 
that category," said Charles. " One might be prepared to risk one's 

The Mystery of Allan Grate, 85 

own dignity — even to be pitied — but not if there were any chance of 
such pity costing too much to those who bestow it" 

" It may cost them more not to be allowed to give it ! " returned 

" It is odd," said Charlie, walking close by her side, and lowering 
his voice a little, " that we too have got into a discussion on the sub- 
ject of that manuscript of mine — ^that question of speaking out or 
keeping silence. For it is a manuscript story, Lettice." 

" Is it ? " said she, briefly. She was not going to invite his confi- 
dence, though she had longed for it. It seemed coming now, and she 
began to feel a little afraid : — as if she would not have objected to 
some further delay. 

" It is a manuscript story," Charles continued, with a sudden, almost 
reckless courage, born of hope, and flushed with the golden oppor- 
tunity of that afternoon walk in the sunshiny solitude. " A love story, 
Lettice. I can give you the outline of it now." 

"That will spoil the perusal, you know, when the time comes for 
that," she observed, with her strange shrinking. 

" I don't think so," said Charles. " There is not much plot. The 
story turns on a question of right and wrong. A man loves a woman, 
and is not sure whether he ought even* to let her know it ! " 

" Of course he should," Lettice answered. " How does he know 
that she may not love him ? — and she cannot let him know it, you 

" But if it would be to her disadvantage to care for him, and if he 
keeps his own secret, she will soon forget her love," he urged. " She 
will refuse to recognise it as love. It will die at the very root. 
And her life will go on prosperously without it." 

" She may refuse to recognise it as love, but she will not be able to 
love anybody else," spoke Lettice, timidly. " Her life will go on well 
enough, of course, but there will be a difference." 

" Still there is much to be said for the man's keeping silence," re- 
marked Charles. " Few people would think his silence needed justi- 
fication; — ^they would praise it. And he would have always hope 
that a time was coming when he would be free to speak." 

" Yes," said I>ettice, with a fine scorn in her low voice, " he might 
think so little of his own love, and of the nature of her to whom he 
offered it, that he might prefer to tender it with a makeweight of silk 
dresses and dinner-parties ! It is a wonder that bank-notes have not 
quite superseded love-letters." 

Lettice was borrowing this from her father ; she had heard him give 
utterance to much the same sentiments. Some mothers would have 
decided that the Doctor was not a man to have the rearing of 
daughters ! 

" Well, in my story, I tried to set forth both sides of the case," pro- 
ceeded Charles. 

"We are close to the Court," interrupted Lettice; "it is no use 

86 The Mystery of Allan Grale, 

beginning to tell me now. But, believe me, Charlie, true women like 
to be generous once or twice in their lives. I do believe that is why 
they so often cling to very worthless men — because those are always 
willing to be helped and served. You good men want to be always 
giving — and it is only the meanest of us who wish to be for ever get- 
ting. It ought to be mutual, both ways, or else one or the other 
misses the sweetest bit of life." 

" 111 give you my manuscript to read this very evening, lattice," 
decided Mr. Carr. 

They were in the Court Avenue now. 

General Vivian, who in the past few weeks had grown surprisingly 
better, and his wife were out driving, but Miss Vivian was at home. 
Everything about Maria seemed but the ghost of what it had been — 
her smile, her voice, her hand, all were ghostly. She received her 
visitors in the morning-room — that pleasant chamber where she had 
formerly spent so much of her time. But now it had somehow a dis- 
carded look ; the flower-stand was empty, no signs of occupation 
lay about, for Maria stayed much in her own room. She kissed 
Lettice and asked after Agnes, and welcomed Charles Carr with a 
strange deprecating kindliness which made the young man feel quite 
shy. She seemed at a loss for conversation ; indeed it flagged with 
them all. Lettice asked Maria if her brothers were well. 

Yes, Maria answered, they were well : but George was not at home. 
He often ran away for a few days — ^young men liked change — ^and he 
was away now ; she thought in Edinburgh. Of Edgar she made no 
mention by name. 

After this, topics of interest being apparently scarce, gossip was 
introduced. Lettice mentioned that she had seen Miss Grale a day 
or two ago, who had said that their young parlour-maid, Susan, was to 
be married, in the autumn, to Joe Massey. 

" Indeed," said Maria, aroused to a faint interest, for Susan had 
been her best scholar in the Sunday school, and she liked the girl. 
" It is rather premature, is it not ? They are both young enough to 
wait a litde." 

" Of course they are," assented Lettice ; " and of course they have 
no prudence at all. Joe Massey has been raised to a better post and 
to better wages, and so they intend to take advantage of it." 

'' Is Mrs. Massey pleased at it ? " asked Maria. 

" Mrs. Massey is as pleased as she ever is about anything," returned 
Lettice. " They have asked her to go and hve with them in London, 
but she won't leave Bering." 

" One reason that she gives as an objection to move is, that she 
will not burden them with the expense of having to bring her back to 
bury her beside her old man," interposed Charles Carr, witfi a slight 
laugh. " Mrs. Massey is fond of looking on the shady side, as you 
must know, Miss Vivian." 

" Yes," replied Maria, faintly smiling. " She came here last week, 

The Mystery of Allan Grale, 87 

quite upset, having discovered that her lodger wears a wedding-nng ; 
a ^t which she had failed to notice before.'' 

"Her lodger?" interrupted Lettice; "Oh, you must mean the 
yellow woman ! " 

" The yellow woman, as she is called," assented Maria. " Poor 
Mrs. Massey thinks it extremely wrong — 'leastways, bewildering, 
ma'am,' she said to me — that Miss West, or Miss anybody else, should 
put on a wedding-ring. As she had asked my advice about taking the 
young woman to lodge with her, she considered it her duty to inform me 
as to the new trouble, and enquire what I thought of it." 

" Silly old thing ! " exclaimed Lettice. " I have known many 
young women who wore their own dead mothers' wedding-rings." 

" But not on the wedding finger," said Maria, looking at her own 
right hand, where her mother's wedding-ring lay loosely, under a half- 
hoop of diamonds rather dim in their old setting. " I suggested to 
Mrs. Massey," she continued, " that probably poor Miss West, who 
seems lonely and friendless, has had some sad story of her own which 
she has had to live through. I think it not at all unlikely," added 
Maria, " for she appears to be a woman of sorrow," 

" And quite mysterious with it," said Lettice. 

" Mystery and sadness often go together," sighed Miss Vivian. 

" She is sad," thought Lettice, with pity for Maria. " I wonder if 
it is about Allan Grale ? I am sure there is some mystery connected 
with this strange absence of his." 

" You should take a walk this fine afternoon, Miss Vivian," sug- 
gested Charles Carr. " It is most delightful out of doors." 

" Won't you go back with us, Maria, and have tea ? " cried Lettice, 
eageriy. " In the sunshine it is as bright and hot as summer." 

" Too sunny for me," said Maria. 

"We will not go home along the hot road," said Lettice ; " we will 
strike into the woods and go round by the Black Pool. It is always 
shady there. *Do come, Maria." 

Maria Vivian's fece grew white. " No, no," she cried, putting up 
her hands with a gesture which must have meant only dissent, but 
which strongly suggested horror. " No, no — I never go out in the 
sunshine now. It makes my head ache." 

"But we could keep in the shadow of the trees all the way," 
pleaded Lettice again, hardly understanding. " Charles will see you 
back to the Court later." 

" In the shadow," echoed Maria : " Yes — I know — ^in the shadow ! 
Not to-day, dear Lettice, thank you." 

So they walked home alone, mostly in silence. The visit had de- 
pressed both of them. Lettice was thinking how worn and sad Maria 
looked Once she roused herself to speak. 

" Do you &ncy, Charles, it can be Allan Grale's prolonged absence 
which is telling upon her ? " 

" Ferfaaps," answered Charles. " But she must be in a nervous 

88 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

state altogether. She turned paie at the mention of the Black 

As they were about to enter Dr. Palmer^s house, Charles Carr took 
a roll of paper from his pocket and handed it to Lettice. 

" There," said he, " that's the mysterious manuscript Now, you 
are not to let anybody else see it, not even Agnes, until you have 
given me your opinion upon it." 

" What, did you have it with you all this time 1 " she exclaimed. 
" How does it end ? From what you have hinted, I am not at all 
sure I shall like it." 

" If you like the beginning, I can easily re-write it with a different 
ending," he answered. " And I can change the names too, if you 
wish it." 



In the course of the evening, Lettice Palmer stole away to her own 
room to read Charles's manuscript She felt almost guilty, in having, 
perhaps for the first time in her life, a secret from Agnes. 

The little tale, entitled " The Romance of Mark Bedell," was a 
very simple story. There was a friendless young fellow, named " Mark 
Bedell," and there was his patron, the village pastor, Mr. Pilgrim, who 
had two daughters, Lily and Alice. And Lily was beloved by Mark 
Bedell : and at first it was a love full of hope which stimulated his 
ambition. He worked hard, continuously; he was an artist, and at last 
he overworked, so that his eyesight failed him, at least for a time. And 
then he slowly woke to the fact that others, far above him, were ready 
to woo and wed the gentle Pilgrim girls. Did Lily really care for him ? 
or was she only kind and tender to his loneliness and weakness? 
Nature did the work of art in the story at this point of narrating how 
his hopes would veer through doubt into despondency. lattice 
blushed in the twilight as she recalled the true basis of many a little 
fact set forth in the tale, of whose working in and effect upon Charles's 
mind she was only now aware. But all of a sudden she sprang to 
her feet, the roses burning hotly in her cheeks. It was as if a mask 
slipped aside — as if the puppets of a play suddenly ceased their 
mechanical mimicry, and stretched warm hands towards her. 

For there, on one of the later pages, the young author's pen had 
slipped, and he had written, instead of Lily Pilgrim — Lettice Palmer. 
There was not much more to read after that, and what there was, 
was sad. For this Mark Bedell never told his love, but made Lily 
Pilgrim believe him cold, even indifferent and ungrateful. So Lily 
married somebody else — somebody well-born and wealthy, and she 
and Mark met no more. Only after the artist, Bedell, was dead, the 
critics began to remark that in every picture of his there appeared, in 
some form or other — one face. Now it was in a foremost personage, 

The Mystery of Allan Grate, 89 

then it was peering out of a crowd, now it was young and fair, then old 
and sweet, now laughing, then sad. But always one face. And when 
there was a collection of the Bedell pictures, Lily and her husband 
visited it And the husband, noticing this ever-present face, cried, 
**Why, Lily, it is yours ! " 

And the story ended with Lily's answer. " I must have haunted 
him, because after all my father's kindness, he proved so negligent 
and ungrateful. 

Lettice sat there in the fading glory of the summer night. Through 
the open window, she could hear voices in the room below her, she 
heard the drawing of the curtains, and knew that the lamp was lit. 
She heard Agnes's voice, steadily going on, reading the newspaper to 
the weary doctor. But she could not go down. To-night she was in 
harmony with the light dying in the west, and the stars coming slowly 
out, and the whispering trees in the mystic twilight, rather than with 
the pretty room, with its genial lamp, and its books, and its work- 

Presently there was a rap at the door, and Charles's voice speaking 
softly : 

"Come out into the garden, Lettice." 

She went. He awaited her under the ivy-clad porch at the back 
of the house. He held out his hand, and hers slipped into it. That 
vas a moment by itself in all their lives. 

" You have read it," he whispered presently. 

"Yes," she said. " And oh, I like it — except the end." 

" You have altered the end," he answered softly. And again there 
was a silence. 

"Did you notice a slip once — in the names?" he asked, by- 

" Yes," she faltered. 

" I noticed it myself, the moment it was written," said Charles. 
" But I could not bear to erase — your name. Its coming by accident 
seemed like a good omen. And that was why I could not show the 
manuscript to Mr. Grale." 

" I never could help wondering why you were so persistent,' Lettice 
remarked. " It did not seem like you. But you showed it to papa." 

" That was different," said Charles. " Besides, I had to show it 
to him." 

" Somebody else must have seen that manuscript," mused Lettice. 
" Was it not the name, Mark Bedell, which made so much mischief? " 

" I can never understand that," quickly answered Charles. " Either 
somebody must have had a master-key to my desk; or I may have 
absently written 'Mark Bedell ' on some piece of paper — in trying a 
pen perhaps — ^and left it about" 

" Did you never leave the manuscript itself about ? " 

" I think not, Lettice. I know I am absent-minded at times, but 
I hardly think I should have been so stupid as that" 

go The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

" Will the matter ever be made clear, I wonder ? " 

Charles did not answer. Even he had had his own thoughts lately. 
Village gossip was growing more and more definite, concerning Allan 
Grale's curious departure and his continued absence, and Charles 
was trying to put two and two together. He had heard what Dering 
said, and he had listened to that talkative girl, Susan. The version, 
taken up by the village gossips now was, that Mr. Edgar Vivian had 
never considered Mr. Grale's son to be a suitable match for his sister ; 
and that he had suddenly interfered to prevent it ; that he had, in 
some way, acquired a hold upon the young man, and had forced 
him to leave Dering, and to keep away from it. To that arbitrary 
measure. Miss Vivian's recent ill-health and sad looks were attributed. 
Charles Carr believed this version of the matter to be absurd ; but he 
thought it not unlikely that the two young men might have fallen into 
some trouble involving pecuniary liabilities, which they could neither 
meet nor speak of. 

" That suspicion cast on me by Mr. Grale — the remembrance of it 
does not trouble you, Lettice, does it ? " questioned Charles, breaking 
the silence. 

" The very idea ! " she exclaimed. " How can you be so silly, 
Charles ? " 

Then the two entered upon a long talk about the past, the present, 
and the future, on which it would not be gracious in us to intrude. One 
comfort is, that in those interesting cases where " two are company 
and three are none," a third person would generally find himself 
quite as much bored as he would be found boring. 

They went in at last, the soothing monotony of Agnes* reading 
having long ceased. She escaped from the room as they entered it. 

" Lettice has been reading my story, this evening, sir," began young 
Carr, all in a tremor. 

" Oh, indeed,'' said the doctor, drily. " And did she not advise you 
to revise it very carefully before you make it public property ? " 

The words were a little sharp, and there was a little sharpness in 
the tone. Nevertheless, in the good Doctor's eyes, there might be 
detected a certain encouragement if read aright. 

" It is to be revised from the beginning," returned Charles. " Let- 
tice thinks some of my chance variations are improvements," he went 
on, scarcely knowing where his courage came from. " And the end, 
sir, is to be quite different." 

" Well, well, well," said the doctor, softening, and brushing some- 
thing from his eyes. 

" You are not angry, papa ? " whispered Lettice. " Nothing can 
be changed for a long while yet, and very likely — I hope we shall 
be all able to go on living together. There are such a few of us 1 " 

Her father turned upon her, with a sudden, determined brightness. 
•* Aye, aye," he said, " it is quite time for a grandpapa's chair to be 
getting ready for me ! That won't be ready just yet, though." 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 91 

"It is all Lettice's fault that I showed her the manuscript so soon," 
put in Charles, playfully. '* She said men were so mean that they 
would not allow women to be generous, would not offer themselves to 
them till they could imagine it was the women's interest to take them. 
What could I do, sir, after that ? " 

"Everything has been Eve's fault from the beginning," cried 
Lettice, laughing. " And where is Agnes, papa ? " 

" Gone to bed, I think," answered the Doctor. " She wished me 
good night. And you had better go also, Lettice, and tell her your 
news ; and then I expect neither of you will close your eyes till day- 

Lettice found that her sister had really gone to bed. She had even 
put out the candle. Somehow Lettice did not care to light it again. 
By merely drawing the curtain a little she could let in a flood of 

Lettice told her news with her head buried on her sister's shoulder. 
Agnes drew herself just a little away, and said quietly : 

"I knew it would come, sooner or later, dear." Then she put her 
anns round Lettice, and kissed her tenderly, and they remained for a 
while in silence. 

"What are you thinking about, dear?" asked Lettice very softly 

"I was thinking of Maria Vivian," answered Agnes in the same 
low tone. 

"Why ! so was I !" whispered Lettice. 

And so it ever is. The cross of patient sufiering — the sacrifice of 
the innocent for the guilty — is the world-fact which draws all hearts 
and dominates all life. We lay its symbol on the bier of our dead ; 
we make it on the brow of innocent infancy ; we rear it above our 
marriage altars. 

Dr. Palmer, who never went to bed very much betimes lest he 
should be called out of it again, sat on alone, thinking of the news 
he had heard and of the future of his daughter ; and Charles Carr was 
at his open window above, gazing at the stars, after the fashion of a 
romantic lover, when steps on the garden path proclaimed the advent 
of a night visitor. 

" Bother ! " said the Doctor ; for he well knew what that meant 
"No bed at all for me now, I expect." 

But the Doctor was wrong. Bed there would be for him, 
though not just yet. The parlour-maid opened the door, and 
told her master that James, from Moorland House, was asking to 
see him. 

" Why, who can be ill there ? " cried the Doctor to himself, as he 
went into the hall. " Is it you, James ? What's the matter ? " 

James explained that his mistress was ill. Not to say downright 
ill, the man added, but depressed and weak, and she had just had a 
fit of hysterics, which frightened them. Her maid, Pettham, thought 
it mvist be all through the sleepless nights she got now ; and they had 

92 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

sent him to ask Dr. Palmer for a sleeping draught, and hoped he 
would excuse its being near eleven o'clock. 

Telling James he would bring the draught round himself, the 
Doctor turned into his surgery. He thought it might be as well if he 
saw Mrs. Grale ; in his opinion, she had latterly been looking very iU. 
Getting what he wanted, he followed James. 

The prolonged waiting for her son, ever looking for him by night 
and by day, and the despairing disappointment when he never came, 
had at length told upon Mrs. Grale. The once plump woman was 
wearing to a shadow; her cheeks became thin, her eyes sad; and 
not being able to talk about the matter — for Mr. Grale would not let 
her — ^kept away the little consolation which that might have imparted. 
This afternoon's post had brought her another letter from her sister 
in Scotland. The Savoch letters came pretty frequently now ; once a 
month, or so ; and their principal theme was ever the same : Mrs. 
Gibson's uneasiness and Mrs. Gibson's dreams. The dreams were 
much the same as the first one had been — ever some grievous distress 
connected with a weird, dark-looking pool, in which distress Mrs. 
Grale seemed to share. The present letter contained, amidst other 
items, the following passage : 

" You still tell me, Polly, that Allan's not come home yet and that 
you can't hear of him anyway. I'd not like to make you uneasy for 
nothing, but don't you think some harm must have happened to him? 
He appears in these dreams of mine (as well as that other person 
I've mentioned to you), and both of them with the palest and 
saddest faces you ever saw." 

This was quite enough to upset Mrs. Grale. After an hour or two 
of giving way, her distress culminated in a violent fit of sobbing and 
crying, which alarmed her maid. Mrs. Grale was at home alone. 
Mr. Grale had run up to London for a couple of days on business ; 
Mary Anne had gone to assist at the celebration of the wedding of a 
young friend at Carstow, and would not return home until the 

" Pettham called it a fit of hysterics, Doctor, but 'twas nothing o* the 
sort," said Mrs. Grale despairingly to Dr. Palmer, when he had arrived 
and they were sitting together. " I never had hysterics in my life ; 
I'm not a fine lady ; it was just a fit of sobbing that I couldn't keep 

" You have looked sad and ill of late, my dear lady," said the 
Doctor, soothingly. " I have remarked it I fear you are fretting 
after your son." 

Melted by the words and tone, for they bore, perhaps unconsciously 
to the speaker himself, a strangely mournful sympathy, Mrs. Grale and 
her reticence broke down together. Without any reserve, she sob- 
bingly imparted to Dr. Palmer all the uneasy sorrow of the past, as 
connected with Allan, including Mrs. Gibson's dreams, and the dream, 
so similar in its features to those, which visited herself the very night 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 93 

of Allan's disappearance ; and she ended by reading aloud Mrs. 
Gibson's last letter. 

'* That dreadful Black Pool comes into Marget's dreams, as it came 
into my dream, you see," she concluded, folding the letter. " It must 
be that : there can't be another such a dark and dreary spot, nor here 
nor in Scotland. And it frightens me, Dr. Palmer." 

" Frightens you ? " he repeated slowly, as if his thoughts were away 
just now. 

" I get wondering whether any ill happened to Alny that night. It 
was thought, you know, that the Black Pool was the place he went to, 
to meet Edgar Vivian. Doctor," she whispered, a fit of tremor 
shaking her, " ra« he be lying in it ? " 

Dr. Palmer did his best to calm Mrs. Grale's fancies, administered 
a sedative, and departed. 

It was not his place to speak ; he would not be the one to bring 
an evil deed to light and disturb a peaceful community : but the 
Doctor had not felt easy in his own mind ever since the conversation 
with old Brice. No, nor for some little time before that. 



There followed a week or two of very unseasonable and rainy weather 
at Dering. George Vivian, who was back again with renewed freshness 
on his refined face and with his usual vivacity, found time hang 
heavily on his hands at the Court, and openly reproached the skies 
for looking black and angry in the sweet month of June. 

There was a restlessness in his manner, not very difficult to detect, 
had anybody watched him closely. In a month or two, George would 
very much need to be away again ; this time for a longer period ; and 
he knew not how to obtain the General's consent. This rather 
worried him. 

At last there came a bright day of sunshine, following on the weeks 
of gloom, which enabled people to go abroad once more. Mary 
Anne Grale proposed a drive to the Court 

Mrs. Grale objected. " I'm not equal to visiting," she said. " My 
spirits are low." 

"And the more you stop at home, the lower they'll get," responded 
Mary Anne, who sometimes reproached her mother with "giving 
way;" though she knew nothing of the one great giving way which 
had called for a visit from Dr. Palmer, the household having been 
requested by their mistress not to speak of it. "Put your things on, 
mamma ; I shall order the carriage." 

Mary Anne Grale's temper had not been very good lately. She 
had never forgotten that episode in the London draper's shop ; and 

94 The Mystery of Allan Grcde. 

somehow she was very curious about George Vivian's visits to Edin- 

Mrs. Grale, always persuadable, and domineered over by Marj' 
Anne, got ready and they started. At the Court they found General 
and Mrs. Vivian and George all sitting on the terrace outside the 
drawing-room windows. The General was enjoying the sunshine. 
More chairs were brought out for the visitors, and afternoon tea was 

" The climate seems to be getting worse and worse," observed Mrs. 
Grale, in answer to a remark of the General's. " I never knew such a 
rainy time as this, close upon midsummer." 

" Mr. Vivian used up all the sunshine during his last holiday," said 
Mary Anne, laughing. " I remember we had delicious weather while 
you were in Edinburgh," she went on, turning to Geoi^ge. " I think 
there was scarcely a shower all the while you were away." 

" Not one — ^at least not in the daytime," he answered. " During 
all my voyage North the sea was like glass." 

That voyage was a puzzle to Mary Anne. She did not understand 
that just now. George had to use a health pretext to get any freedom 
at all. It seemed to her, with her conscious knowledge of that scene 
in the mercer's shop, that possibly there was some attraction for the 
young man in the North. Yet if so, how came he to waste so much 
of such a brief holiday in the solitary tedium of a voyage ? 

" Had you many fellow passengers on board ? " she asked care- 

"Very few," he replied. "The holiday season had not begun. 
" There were some young people going down to school at St. Andrew's— 
some Americans fresh from New York, and two missionary ladies 
home on leave from India. So we were * quite select* in the saloon. 
I thought my journey was to be rather dreary at first, but the Indian 
ladies and the Americans proved very interesting and pleasant." 

This certainly did not look as though George had joined any party. 
Yet if the " attraction " was in Edinburgh, surely that had not been 
the destination of the rich and pretty but quite common-place pur- 
chases she had seen him make in Ix>ndon. Every article on the 
Bond Street counter might have been readily procured in Prince's 

" What a magnificent city Edinburgh is," said Miss Grale. " We 
have only stayed there a few days en route to the West Coast and to 
Skye. I suppose it is a pleasant place to live in ? One always hears 
a great deal of Edinburgh society." 

"In that respect it is not what it was in the past," answered George. 
" Now-a-days, the city is at once too large and too small. There is 
all the difference between its past and its present that there is between 
its Old Town and its New." 

" Surely the New Town is an improvement on the Old 1 " exclaimed 
Mary Anne, astonished. " I remember being quite struck with the 

Tlie Mystery of Allan Grale. 95 

number of beautifully kept, broad, uniform streets, evidently all 
inhabited by people of wealth and importance." 

" But does it not strike you as a little strange when people of wealth 
and importance are all content to live in houses exactly alike ? " asked 
George, "as if they had no more individuality than sand-martins or 
bees I " 

" But think of the old drainage ! " said Maiy Anne. 

Geoige could not restrain a sudden laugh. " I am not going to 
defend the defects of the old," he explained, " but I think they might 
be remedied without abolishing its beauties." 

" I suppose you have many friends in Edinburgh, Mr. George ? " 

"No," he answered quite frankly. "I had in the days gone by ; 
but death broke up the households so effectually that now I have not 
one friend left in the city. Of course I have a few acquaintances." 

"And I suppose this would be a favourable time of the year for 
finding everybody at home," remarked Mary Anne. 

"Yes," said George, "it is. But I did not trouble my acquaintances 
much, for I did not call upon them." 

"Dear me!" exclaimed the young lady. "How did you while 
away your time ? " 

"My eyes were longing for change," laughed George. "Fresh 
objects seemed to refresh them, like turning them upon grey or green 
after staring at scarlet I have seen nothing but Dering so long '' 

" I don't admire your comparison, George," interrupted the General. 
"If you had seen nothing but Dering, you had seen nothing but grey 
and green ; and for change you must have wanted dazzling colours, 
lather than subdued ones." 

Geoige turned it off jokingly. "Well, uncle, I mean it was refresh- 
ing to visit old scenes and places, which I do not see often." 

" Did you do any sketching ? " asked Miss Grale. 

George hesitated "Very little," he said. " Very little indeed." 

" You have shown us absolutely nothing, George," commented Mrs. 
Vivian, in that clear, low voice of hers, which always seemed to cut 
like a knife into the conversation. 

" I think you should show us what you have done, George, however 
little it may be," said his uncle. " I know a scene I like when I sec 
it, but a good picture of it sometimes explains to me why I like it 
George's sketches have often done so." 

"That is what is called interpreting nature," said Mrs. Vivian 
again. " And a very poor picture may well do that better than most 
people can do it for themselves." 

" Oh, Mr. Vivian, you must really be persuaded," cried Mary Anne. 
" Your dear aunt tells you to put aside the pretence of modesty. I'm 
sure you are able to interpret better than we can understand." 

Mis. Vivian gave one flashing glance from her soft white knitting. 
Was it possible that with due training and development, Mary Anne 
Grale, Uie rich manufacturer's daughter, almost without a grandfather, 

96 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

might match and rival herself, who laid shadowy claims to the blood of 
the Plantagenets ? 

" I have said that I have absolutely nothing to show," asserted 
George. And this time, both his uncle and Miss Grale understood 
that no further entreaty was to be tendered. 

The General felt that the conversation wanted shifting a little. A 
man of war from his youth, he had yet always had a peculiar shrink- 
ing from all moral and mental jars. His nephew, George, had once 
said that he believed his uncle had married his wife out of sheer 
admiration for her skill and endurance in those society skirmishes 
from which he fled. 

" I can understand the pleasure of going back to old sightseeings 
after a spell of dreary monotony," he remarked. " When I returned 
from the Red River in 1870, I was detained two or three days in 
London before I could get to Bering, and I can tell you, I went to 
every place where I had been taken in my holidays from school — ^to 
the Monument, and the Abbey, and the Cathedral ; aye, and to 
Madame Tussaud's and the Lowther Arcade ! Every place was a 
treat after that endless prairie." 

" Oh, yes," said Mary Anne. " The endless prairies " 

'^ And the Red Indians, and the queer kind of food," interrupted 
Mrs. Grale. 

'* But Dering is not the endless prairie. I should not have thought 
Mr. Vivian would have grown so weary of sweet Dering woods," Mary 
Anne went on, sentimentally. 

" He will be wearying of Dering people next ; if he has not done so 
already," said Mrs. Grale, with a faint smile. " But that may be easily 
remedied. There are plenty of new people who will be very glad to 
come to Dering." 

For which speech Mary Anne could have shaken her mother. 
People in society did not give out hints of that kind ! But a diver- 
sion was created by the sight of a railway porter coming up the avenue 
with a telegram. 

Mrs. Grale's thoughts flew to Corrabuin ; and all the sick suspense, 
which she daily had to suppress, returned upon her. She forgot the 
possibilities of the incident ; she forgot her manners. " Oh, is not 
that for me I " she cried. " I have been expecting one for — oh, so 
long 1 They may have sent the man after us from Moorland House." 

"It is not likely they would send after us," said Mary Anne, 
frigidly. She added in a terrible whisper, " Mother, sit still." For 
the poor lady was fain to rise, in readiness to receive the telegram. 

George Vivian stepped to the terrace steps and took the missive 
from the man. 

" I am sorry, Mrs. Grale," he said, quietly, " but it is for me." 

Mrs. Grale heaved a sigh. Geoige did not seem in any hurry to 
open the envelope. Mrs. Vivian spoke. 

" Have you no impatience, George ? Even the conventional 

The Mystery of Allan Gralc. 97 

apology for oi)ening letters is, I believe, waived in the case of tele- 

George took the hint Perhaps it reminded him that to keep a tele- 
gram unopened might be at least as significant as to open it with undue 

The words within were evidently few enough. Mrs. Vivian flashed 
on him one of her glances at the very instant when their meaning was 
entering his brain. His face was absolutely impassive : his guard on 
every feature was resolute. But that it did not relax was sufficient 
proof to his aunt that whatever news he had received was not what he 
had hoped for. 

"A message concerning a little matter only interesting to myself," 
he said, as he carefully folded the telegram, restored it to its envelope, 
and put it in his pocket. 

" We elders," said the General to Mrs. Grale, " are hardly able to 
get over our early impressions of telegrams. In our younger days they 
were rarely used except for tidings of moment — generally, of disaster 
or death. The very coming in of a telegram prepared one, as it were, 
for a shock. Now-a-days it probably comes to say that you have 
left your umbrella somewhere and it is being sent after you by parcel 

Shortly afterwards Mrs. Grale and her daughter departed, George 
attending them to their carriage. Once seated in it, Mary Anne gave 
her mother a sharp little lecture, connected with observing proper 
manners, and with her misplaced joke about George Vivian's possible 
weariness of Dering people. Mrs. Grale made a faint defence. 

" You seemed so sorry that he should be tired of Dering," she said. 
'' Now a person is never tired of a place till he is tired of the people 
in it Saying the one thing was saying the other, Mary Anne, only in 
a different way." 

"The way in which a thing is said makes all the difference,'' 
snapped Mary Anne. 

" WeU, to be sure ! " sighed poor Mrs. Grale. " I'm willing to do 
my best, but I'm sure I've often made chance remarks like that before, 
without your taking me up so smartly." 

This was a hint that Mary Anne was in an ill temper, and the 
yomig lady knew that perfectly. There was something behind George 
Vivian's visit to Edinburgh that she did not understand, and his 
apparent frankness had net been a perfect frankness. To go wander- 
ing about alone, looking at bloodstains in Holyrood palace, and 
'* rasping the ring " on the doors of John Knox's house, could never 
have been the all-sufficing enjoyment chosen by George Vivian for his 
holiday. And then that telegram ! 

As a matter of fact, George might have shown his telegram to the 
whole party, and they would have been only the more mystified. It 
was dated from " Ragan, Ross-shire." And its brief purport was this : 

" He came too soon and he is gone again." 


98 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

But Mary Anne Grale, sitting in silence, as they drove along the 
sunny lanes, firmly believed that she might have solved a secret, could 
she have got one look at that flimsy scrap of paper. Her reverie was 
interrupted by her mother suddenly grasping her arm. 

" Look, Mary Anne 1 Look at that group of people ! Something 
must be the matter : they are hastening to Dr. PalmePs. Let us stop 
the horses." 

She was rising to seize the check-string, but Mary Anne arrested 
her hand. 

"Please do nothing of the sort, mamma," she said. "It is pro- 
bably an accident to some workman at papa's machinery. Ever}'- 
thing necessary will be done without us. How you do excite your 
self ! It is very bad taste." 



Earlier in that same afternoon, two Bering village boys, Daniel and 
John Rafe, had gone cutting sticks in the woodland lying round the 
Black Pool. Now the waters of th*? Pool were surrounded by a rising 
grassy bank. On the top of their slight elevation grew a belt of 
bramble, running all round the Pool, and making a sort of natural 
fencing, enclosing it and the green bank. Behind these brambles lay 
a sort of rough grassy path, and the whole was made into a kind of 
amphitheatre by grand old trees. 

The boys' stick-cutting had been chiefly carried on amid the bram 
bles, among which they tore and trampled freely, throwing the wands 
they broke clear out of the bushes upon the grassy path, where they 
would gather them up and finish them at their leisure. It was when 
they had concluded their work of destruction, and came out upon 
the clearing to collect their spoils, that they found a stick which cer 
tainly they had not broken off" on that afternoon or on any other. 
Each pounced upon it to secure it for himself, and each drew back 
without touching it. 

For they recognised the stick as belonging to Allan Grale. It had 
been presented to him only two years before, by the village cricket- 
club, which he had promoted and patronized. It was a hazel shep- 
herd's crook, and Allan's name and the occasion was duly set forth 
on a silver ring, with which it was mounted, but which was now sadl)' 
dimmed and defaced by damp. 

The brothers felt rather dazed. " Mr. Allan must have left it hero 
before he went away," whispered John. " It's odd that nobody has 
found it afore now ! " 

" Nobody never comes round this way," said Daniel ; " it don't lead 
to nowhere." 

Tlte Mystery of Allan Grale. 99 

"I say, d'ye think we should leave it here, Dan, and say nought 
about finding it ? " cried the elder boy. 

"What for ? " said the bolder Dan. " We didn't go to find it ; we 
see it lying here, we couldn't help finding of it. They can't do 
nothing to us for that" 

Marking the exact spot where the stick had lain, the boys went 
slowly towards the high road, carrying it with them. There they met 
nurse Kate, Mrs. Grale's old servant, and showed her the stick. It 
threw her into considerable agitation. 

" That stick has not come up for nothing,'' said she, with a dreary 
emphasis. " But don't you go taking it to Moorland House, you 
boys, a-frightening the poor missis. You take it straight to Dr. 
Palmer's, and tell him where you found it He is a kind and clever 
gentleman, and will know what to think on't, and what will be right to 

The two lads followed the advice, and turned towards Dr. Palmer's. 
But it was not to be expected that they could pass their friends and 
neighbours on the road without pouring forth the news, so that a 
good many people collected about them — and that was the small 
crowd seen by Mrs- Grale from her carriage. Various comments were 
made, and covert hints dropped as to the depth of the Black Pool 
and its capacity for keeping all sorts of terrible secrets. For a fear 
had suddenly arisen that young Mr. Grale might have been drowned 
in it 

The village shoemaker, David Sherlock, who liked to be first and 
foremost in all matters of public gossip, undertook to explain for the 
two boys at Dr. Palmer's. But when they reached the house, only the 
young ladies were at home. Agnes and her sister came forward, and 
heard all there was to hear. It was decided that the stick should be 
left in the hall, to await the return of the Doctor. 

" And please," said Agnes, " will none of you talk about this for 
an hour or two — not till you have heard from papa ; or some exag- 
gerated and alarming report might get carried to the family at Moor- 
land House." 

The shoemaker could not resist giving himself the importance of a 
last word. Allowing his neighbours to pass out, he lingered behind. 

" I reckon there's trouble in store for that house, young ladies. 
I'm much afeard on't" 

Agnes laid her hand on her sister's shoulder as soon as they were 
alone. '' Maria Vivian has been right, Lettice. She always said that 
Allan was dead." 

There, on the hall table, where John Rafe had put it down, lay the 
stick, which both of the girls knew quite well. They could not 
leave it there. Agnes lifted it up, carried it into the dining-room, 
and laid it across the arms of her father's big chair. 

She shivered as she did so. " Shut the window, Letty," she said : 
"surely the day is growing chilly." 

loo The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

Lettice obeyed : but as she did so, she said, " I don't think the 
chill is in the air, I think it is in us." Which Agnes knew too well. 

" I wonder if it is true that there are certain people who can tell 
where any article has been, and what has gone on around it, by simply 
seeing it or touching it," observed Letty, presently. " One sometimes 
hears wonderful stories of such things. If there is any truth at their 
bottom, surely many mysteries might be cleared up." 

Agnes shook her head dubiously. " I believe there is some truth 
in them, Lettice, but I fancy it is an intangible, personal kind of 
truth ; just as we are liable to be attracted or repelled by people of 
whom we know nothing." 

" I see what you mean," mused Lettice. " For instance, with that," 
and she pointed to the stick, "we know of the doubts there have 
been and of Maria's fears, so we, looking at it, conjure up a picture 
of despair and disaster and death." 

" Oddly enough, there comes to me only a vision of wickedness 
and remorse," said Agnes. " But let us leave it." 

" Oh, and here's papa ! " exclaimed Lettice, looking from the 
window. " I think I never felt so glad to see him." 

On the morning of this same bright day, Charles Carr took advan- 
tage of the sunshine to walk to Carstow, whence he took the train to 
Siadford, his errand to the latter place being to buy another watch- 
maker's hammer, and hand it, with his apologies, to his friend, Mark 
Acland. Of the lost hammer no trace could be found. Charles had 
seen and questioned the man who mended the clock at the works, 
but the latter assured him he had not carried it away. 

Mark Acland was with a surgeon at Siadford, one Mr. Stephenson. 
Mr. Stephenson united the business of a chemist and druggist to his 
profession, and all that part of young Acland's time not given to 
study or to paying visits to patients with his master, was spent behind 
the counter in the shop, dispensing drugs. 

Charles Carr, passing through the streets of Siadford, which the 
sun was making hot and bright, as elsewhere, after the days of gloomy 
nun, found him there on this morning, in full charge of the shop, the 
regular attendant in it being laid up with illness. Acland was a gay- 
natured, pleasant-mannered young fellow and welcomed Charles with 
effusion. Greetings over, Charles went straight to the point at 

" You remember the watchmaker's hammer you lent me so long 
ago, Mark?" 

" Well, yes, I do," admitted Mark, smiling. " To own the truth, 
I thought you had forgotten it." 

" And so I had," replied Charles. " It slipped out of my mind 
altogether for a time. And now it is not to be found." 

" That's a pity," said the young man, " for I had only borrowed it 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. loi 

for you. I got it from a man named Webster, who used to live next 
door here," 

" Of course I shall buy another ; and I should like to see Webster 
and tell him how sorry I am," added Charles. " Where does he live, 
do you say ? Next door ? " 

" He does not live here at all now. He has gone away ; taken to a 
business ever so far off." 

** Dear me, I wish I could have seen him," exclaimed Charles. 
"Now you speak of the name, I believe it was printed on the 
handle of the hammer — * Webster ' — and the name of the place, 
*Sladford.* Yes. I shall write and explain." 

" Don't trouble writing to Webster about it," advised Mark. " Buy 
the new hammer, use it, and then return it with an apology for its 
long detention, and an explanation of its not being the same article. 
That will be the best plan. And now, Charlie, what is going on 
at Dering ? Tell me all the news of the dear old place. Don't I 
often wish I was back there ! " 

Charles told him all the news he could remember — which was not 
much, he laughingly said, for there was no especial news to tell. The 
General was getting better and better at the Court ; the Palmers were 
all right ; and the Grales were pretty well. " I think," he added, in 
conclusion, " that Allan Grale's prolonged absence is telling rather 
sharply upon the old lady." 

" That's it," cried Mark Acland, quickly, " that's what I want to ask 
you about. Do you know where young Grale is ? " 

" No, I don't," replied Charles. " He left home suddenly, sayinj; 
nothing to anybody, I believe, and he did not come back again. 
That's some months ago." 

" Do you know whether there was anything went wrong with him 
before he left ? " was Acland's next question. 

" Mark," said Charles, with his simple half-comical gravity, " it is 
not easy to know the truth about one's neighbours, though it is quite 
easy to repeat the gossip concerning them." 

llie young chemist did not seem to notice the implied caution. He 
had his own special object in view. 

" Do you happen to recollect the month ? Was it in October ? " 

Charles reflected for a moment. " Yes," he said, " he went away 
in October." 

Mark Acland had taken up a ledger and was rapidly turning over 
the leaves. He stopped at one of the pages dated in the month of 
October, the preceding year. Then he turned the book towards 
Charles : who saw sundry entries therein, and at the very bottom of 
the page, on its margin, the letter S. 

"What do you think that stands for ? " asked Acland. 

" What, indeed ? " returned Charles. " I cannot tell." 

" It stands for * suicide,' " said the other succinctly. And looked 
steadily into young Carr's face. 

102 TJie Mystery of Allan Grale, 

'^ On that evening," he related, " I was in the shop alone, as I am 
now. While I was serving some children with pennyworths of liquo- 
rice, a gentleman walked in. He was looking so pale and ill that I 
got rid of the youngsters in a giffy, thinking he must want medical 
assistance of some kind. Instead of this he asked for a considerable 
quantity of a certain powerful poison used in photography. Now I 
can assure you that he was not at all the person for whom I was 
likely to waive the precautions we should always take before selling 
such things." 

" Then what did you do ? " asked Charles. 

" Enquired his name and address, and whether he had any refer- 
ences," returned the other, promptly. "And I knew exactly what 
would happen next. He hesitated, said he was quite a stranger in the 
place, and could mention no references which would be worth any- 
thing. And then, while he looked at me and I at him, I conclude he 
saw that he would not get served with what he wanted ; for he went 
on to say that he would not take the chemicals after all, as he might 
not be able to use them until he reached some place where he could 
settle down. And so, saying he was sorry to have troubled me, he 
turned and walked out of the shop. After he left, I put that mark 
' S ' in the ledger, in case I should hear of some tragedy, and might 
have a piece of evidence worth offering," * continued Acland. " I felt 
absolutely certain that unfortunate applicant intended to make away 
with himself." 

" But what has this to do with young Grale ? " questioned Charles. 

" rU tell you. This gentleman's face had seemed familiar to me, 
and I could not get it out of my mind. It was somehow- familiar, and 
yet not familiar. In the middle of the night I woke up suddenly, and 
the face flashed into my memory, and I saw, or thought I saw, that it 
was Allan Grale's." 

" Allan Grale's ! " echoed Charles. 

" I was not sure ; I never have been sure ; and the more I dwell 
upon it the less certainty I feel. One minute I say to myself ' It was 
Grale's face, but disguised ; ' the next minute I say ' No, it was not 
Grale's, but a face bearing a curious likeness to his.' Anyway, had I 
heard within twenty-four hours of that evening visit here that young 
Mr. Grale had destroyed himself, it would have given me no surprise." 

" But don't you think it strange that you should not have known 
Grale out-and-out, if it was he ? " questioned Charles. 

" Not so strange. It is some years, you know, since I left Dering, 
and he must have altered a good deal. I have said his face was dis- 
guised, but I am not sure of that ; it may have been only its own 
natural alteration." 

" Which evening do you say this was, Mark ? — what date ? " 

" I think it was Wednesday, the twenty-first of October ; but it may 
have been Tuesday the twentieth," replied Acland. " Jones ; that's 
my coadjutor in the shop here — or I suppose I ought to say that I am 

The Mystery of Allan Grale, 103 

his, for he is head manager after the master — ^has rather a careless way 
of marking his dates. When he begins a fresh page, he always puts 
down the date and the day of the week, and he does not put another 
date down on the page at all; so that it sometimes happens the 
entries on one and the same page may comprise two days' entries, if 
not three days'. See," added the young man, again turning the ledger 
to Charles, " he has put down Tuesday, the twentieth of October, at the 
top here ; and at the top of the next page Thursday, the twenty- 
second So that it is impossible to say which of the two former even- 
ings it was." 

" And you cannot recollect which ? " 

" Not with certainty. The impression on my mind is that it was 
the later one — ^Wednesday." 

" It was on the Tuesday that Grale left home — early in the evening," 
remarked Charles. " And I do not know that anybody has seen him or 
heard of him from that hour to this." 

Mark Acland stooped down and took something from under the 
coanter. " The next morning, I was putting the shop to rights before 
Jones came, when I found this in the corner of the outer counter," he 
remarked " Look at it, Charles." 

It was a walking-stick ; a common, heavy black staff, its ferule torn 
and almost broken away from hard usage. 

"I think the man left this behind him," he said " I could not 
call to mind anybody else who had been in the shop that was likely to 
do so." 

'' I must say this stick is not much in Allan Grale's style," cried 

" No, indeed ; but the get up of the whole man was not in Grale's 
style, or I think I should have known him at once. The very face 
was different; and yet, when once his name came into my mind, I 
felt half sure it was he. I might have felt more sure, only the idea 
seemed so very unlikely." 

A customer came in at that juncture, and then another ; young 
Acland became very busy, and had no further time to give to gossip. 
So Charles Carr wished him good bye, and took his departure. 

He went back home by train. And upon reaching Dering station, 
the first person he saw was Dr. Palmer himself, who had gone there 
to see a patient ofif. Eagerly enough, Charles poured into his ear 
what he had heard from Mark Acland 

" But it is all uncertain at the best, Charles," remarked the Doctor, 
after listening and- musing : "as everything else seems to be that's 
connected with the departure of Allan Grale. Your fnend Acland is 
not able to decide whether it was Grale who went into the shop and 
demanded these poisons, or whether it was not. Neither can he give 
the precise date." 

"True, sir. If he " 

Suddenly Charles felt the Doctor give his arm a sharp grip, which 

104 ^*^ Mystery of Allan Grale. 

he understood was meant to enjoin instant silence. Instinctively he 
glanced round. They were passing the back wall of the station. In 
this back wall there was set one little window, consisting of two dusky 
panes, sufficient to allow the officials to reconnoitre the country on 
that side. 

Sufficient also, it now appeared, to allow the public to reconnoitre 
the interior ! 

For there, on the narrow foot-path, bending a little to one side, so 
that the light from within should not strike upon her face, and in- 
tendy watching, stood the yellow-cloaked woman. Charles, as he 
softly passed behind her, contrived to throw a glance inside, curiously 
eager to find out what she could be looking at He saw the station- 
master turning over his time-tables ; and he saw George Vivian stand- 
ing at the ink-splashed wooden desk, filling in a telegram form. 

" What on earth can that woman expect or want to see ? " whispered 
Charles, after they had passed. 

" Who knows ? " returned the Doctor. " Perhaps she may be only 
trying to see the station-master's clock ! But there is something queer 
about her. She's not unlike a detective. Others have thought so, 
as well as I," he added, recalling what had been said to him by Edgar 
Vivian. " If she is not that, she's watching somebody or something 
for purposes of her own." 

" But she works as a sempstress," exclaimed Charles. 

" Yes, that may be all a part of her plan. But now, Charles, we must 
return to what immediately concerns us : did Acland say whether this 
man, whom he saw, looked at all travel-stained ? " 

They had come to the bend of the road, which would hide the 
station from their view, and Charles turned to look back at it. George 
Vivian, having apparently transacted his business, had quitted the 
office, and was coming leisurely along. The yellow woman was no- 
where to be seen. 

The first news to greet Dr. Palmer, when they entered his house, 
was the sad event of that afternoon at Dering : namely, the discovery 
of Allan Grale's walking-stick by the Black Pool The Doctor^ 
daughters stood shivering by, as he touched it and examined it. 

This stick belonged to Allan ; there was no question of that 
Whether the other stick, coarse and common, found in the chemist's 
shop, had also belonged to him, no one could say. It was very strange 
that both the sticks should have been heard of, so to say, on the same 

" As matters have come to this pass, the Grales must now be spoken 
with," observed the Doctor, slowly. " I must be the one to do it, I 
suppose. Come along, Charles. Mr. Grale may wish to hear you 
say yourself what you have to say, rather than listen to it second 

" Do you mean, sir, that I ought to tell him what Mark Acland 
said ? " 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 105 

"Certainly. Encompassed with uncertainty though it be, Mr. 
Grale ought to hear it." 

They both went out, into the rich golden light of the calm summer 
erening. As they walked, with the peaceful beauty of field and wood- 
land stretching far away around them — here and there a soft, white 
doud of smoke rising from a cottage chimney to tell of the rest and 
comfort of harmless homes, it seemed a world apart from sin and 

And at no point was the scene more peaceful or more fair than when 
they drew near Moorland House ; its long, low, old walls gleaming 
white amid its solemn cedars and umbrageous elms. The rooks were 
cawing noisy vespers, amid which the remote monotonous note of the 
eve-jar, struck the ear but faintly. 

" What was that ? " asked the Doctor suddenly, with a start. 

" I heard nothing but the birds," answered Charles. 

*' I am sure it was a human voice," said the Doctor. At that 
moment they turned into the short, broad path leading to the Moor- 
land porch. In front of it stood a carriage — a neat little brougham, 
which Dr. Palmer knew well. He had occasionally hired it himself 
in Carstow. 

" Dear me ! " he exclaimed, " there are visitors ! It will be difli- 
cult to get at Mr. Grale alone, without exciting observation. 

But at that instant somebody came out of Moorland House, 
running hastily past the brougham. It was Susan, the parlour-maid. 

In her absorbed haste she almost ran against them. She pulled 
herself up breathlessly, exclaiming : 

"Oh, Dr. Palmer, I was coming for you, sir. The mistress has 
heard some bad news, and she just gave one scream and fell down 
in a dead &int" 

"Ah, I thought I heard a cry!" responded Dr. Palmer, hurrying 
forward. Susan ran by his side, Charles following. 

" It was all the cook's feult," narrated Susan. " She'd been down 
in the village, and she'd heard something about poor Mr. Allan. If 
she had taken a minute to think, she'd have had more sense ; but the 
mistress was the first person she met, just crossing the hall, and she 
toki her what she heard — ^and Mrs. Grale cried out and fell." 

They were on the threshold now. " Who is the visitor, Susan ? " 
asked Dr. Palmer, in a hurried whisper, as he pointed to the 

" Lady Laura Bond, sir." 

(To be continued). 




COLONEL LYNDHURST and Mabel Bamngton had beca en- 
gaged just twenty minutes by the Cupid-conducted clock on 
Mrs. Barrington's drawing room mantelpiece, when unfortunately a 
subject cropped up about which they totally disagreed. 

How they came, at such a moment, to hit upon this unlucky topic 
seems incredible, but it was one that interested them both in a differ- 
ent fashion. They might, with safety and unanimity, have discussed 
anything else in the world without the slightest risk of falling out, and 
have reserved the supernatural for conversation after marriage, but the 
£3ites willed otherwise. When Colonel Lyndhurst said, " Oh, nonsense ! 
my dear girl," in a voice which Mabel had seldom heard him use be- 
fore, it was no wonder that she tossed her head — which for the 
purpose she was obliged to remove from the Colonel's shoulder. 

" But I assure you, Frederick," she began ; and the Colonel inter- 
rupting her, a fierce argument ensued, neither of the lovers, or rather 
combatants, listening to a single word the other brought forward. 

*' If we are to dififer like this about one of the most sacred, the 
most important " 

" Pooh, pooh, Mabel ! if you are going to get so excited about a 
wretched trifle " * 

" I see we are both of the same mind on one point, at all events/' 
said Miss Barrington, haughtily, " that we made a grand mistake in 
thinking we should ever make each other happy. I hope you will for- 
get the unfortunate incident of this afternoon as quickly as I mean to 
do, and if any recollection remains it will be satisfaction th^t we dis- 
covered an incompatibihty of temper in time. Good morning, 
Colonel Lyndhurst ! " 

" But, my dear Mabel, are you positively going to sacrifice " 

" Good morning, Colonel Lyndhurst" Miss Barrington had ma- 
jestically rung the bell, and said, " Front door, James," to the footman 
as coolly as if she had been dismissing a charity-collector. There 
was nothing for it but to leave her — which the poor Colonel did in an 
altogether humiliated fashion. He had not even his hat to shelter 
himself with, for having come with a purpose, he had intentionally 
and significantly deposited it in the hall, on hearing that Mrs. 
Barrington had gone down to Harrow Speeches, but Miss Barrington 
was at home and would receive him. After vainly casting his eyes 
round the drawing-room and dashing wildly into one or two likely 
comers, he remembered this trifling but suggestive circumstance, and 
followed James down stairs as described. 

Bang ! went the hall-door. James might have been suffering 

Thought-Reading at Lady Clanjamfty's. 107 

agonies of unassuaged pique from the^ way he slammed it, but in 
reality he only felt that his five o'clock toast was cooling below. Then 
the house was quiet, and Mabel Barrington flung herself on the sofiei. 

" How can he say there is nothing in it ?" she sobbed. " Why, Fve 
felt it over and over again, and this very day I was just thinking about 
him, when the door opened and in he came ! " 

A proof of the disputed topic of thought-reading which might have 
convinced Colonel Lyndhurst more than any better argument had she 
only thought of mentioning it before. 

The bell rang, and Mabel started up. Could it be her mother 
returning ? No, it was Frederick Lyndhurst's voice once more in parley 
at the door ; he must be coming back to retract all he had said against 
her ^vourite hobby; and, hastily brushing aside her tears, she deter- 
mined that he should find her unmoved though inwardly not disin- 
clined for reconciliation. 

Bit alas, the front door slammed once again; through the open win- 
dows she heard the footsteps she had learnt to know in the last few 
weeks, hurriedly passing down the street; and she was aware that now 
there was to be no reconciliation between her lover and herself. 

The fact was that the Colonel, in passing the hatstand in Mrs. Bar- 
tington's hall, in place of his own glossy hat had seized a large and 
well-wom beaver, the property of the late Mr. Barrington, which his 
widow always kept en evidence as a precautionary measure against 
vagabonds of all sorts ; and it was not till he was half way to the 
dub, and James had contentedly regained his tea-tmy, that the hapless 
lover discovered his mistake. It was mortifying to be obliged to return, 
but it was impossible to proceed in the head-gear of the late Mr. Bar- 
rington, who had prided himself on a supposed likeness to John 
Bright and had dressed in support of it Hence Colonel Lyndhurst's 
second appearance at the door, his colloquy with James, and his retreat- 
ing footsteps. The household in Hans Place were to know him no 


" Whatever is the matter with Mabel ? " asked Tom Barrington, the 
next time he came up from Aldershot, and found himself alone with 
his mother. " I never saw a girl so * down ' in my life. Hasn't the 
affair with Lyndhurst come to anything ? " 

" I don't know," sighed Mrs. Barrington, weakly. " He was here 
the day I went down to Harrow with the Simplesons. Such a dull day 
we had of it, Tom ! And I had to sit with my back to the horses all the 
way, for neither Mrs. Simpleson nor her sister can do so. And they 
were so dreadfully silly about their boys ! I wished I had never con- 
sented to go at all, just to be bored to death with conversation about 
Algy and Alfy, and dragged up a hill hke the side of a house, because 
of the horses " 

" Well, about Lyndhurst ? " growled Tom, interrupting his mother. 

io8 Thought-Reading at Lady Clanjamfry's. 

" Ah, to be sure. Well, he came and called — at least so James 
said ; and he saw Miss Barrington, and then he went away and took 
your poor father's hat instead of his own, and had to return and change 
it But Mabel had a bad headache when I came in, and told me 

" Took that old hat, did he ? That looks bad — must have looked 
bad, I mean. Do you think she refused him ? " 

" My dear boy, how can I tell ? You and Mabel tell me so little 
about your affairs, I sometimes feel inclined to give up London life 
altogether, and set up in some quiet little village, where at least I can 
be of use to some poor old woman. I should be doing a little good 
then at all events." 

This was a favourite threat of Mrs. Barrington's when annoyed. 

" Poor dear mother ! Fm sure you're the life and soul of a dozen 
old women as it is, without going to a country village to look for them. 
Now, what is it ? I know you are vexed about something." 

" Only this troublesome affair of Mabel's," admitted the lady, who 
liked to be petted and pitied by her handsome son : " and all soits 
of little worries. Why, that sister of Mrs. Simpleson's asked me how 
long Mabel had been out, and if I knew Lady Clanjamfry ? And 
then when I said * yes,' she asked if we were going to the soiree on 
the 27th? I was obliged to say we hadn't got our card yet; at 
which she pretended to be quite concerned, though she managed to 
mention that it was only for intimate friends." 

" Poor mother I Point her out to me the next time we meet at an 
evening party, and I'll go for her' skirts in my spurs ! " 

" But, Tom, suppose Lady Clanjamfry doesn't ask us ? " 

"We'll dynamite Clanjamfry House just as Mrs. Simpleson's 
carriage stops the way ! Well, goodbye mother ; I'm dining with 
Chambers at the club, and perhaps I shall be able to bring you home 
news of the Colonel — see you at breakfast Goodbye." 


" Lyndhurst's gone off to Paris," said Captain Tom Barrington, next 
morning, laying down the Times unconcernedly, as if he had just read 
the news in its pages, and glancing across at his sister. 

" Ah ! here it is, at last," cried Mrs. Barrington, waving an envelope 
triumphantly behind the tea-urn. 

" What, from him ? " Mabel ejaculated, off her guard. " I mean, 
at least, of course, from her ? " seeing Tom's eyes curiously regarding 

" I^dy Clanjamfry's invitation," continued her mother, heedless of 
her daughter's slip. "*il/rx. and Miss Barrington, Thursday^ 21th 
July, 10 c^clock. Thought reading T How delightful ! " 

" Ugh ! " shuddered Tom, resuming the Times^ but still covering 
his sister's face from behind it. " Don't ask me, do they ? that's all 

Thought-Reading at Lady Clanjarnfry^s. 109 

right It's all humbug, you know ; a put-up thing ; I've seen it at 
lots of places. Just an excuse for fellows to stand, holding girls' 
hands " 

" Tom ! " said his mother, much scandalized, " I'm sure you're mis- 
taken. Lady Clanjamfry would never permit such a thing. Besides, 
this is not to be an amateur stance, there is a regular experimentalist, 
a Herr Van Boschmann, who never fails, the Simplesons declare 1 " 

"Never fails to take in the Simplesons, I daresay ! Are you as in- 
^tuated about this nonsense as the rest, Mabel ? " 

" I ? Oh, I don't know ! That is, I think it is very interesting. 
There must be something in it." 

" A very new and original opinion, my dear ! I've no doubt there 
is, and Van der Bosch, or whatever his name is, thinks so too. Did 
I tell you that your young friend Lyndhurst had gone off to Paris at 
a moment's notice, and public opinion is divided between the idea of 
an elopement in high life or an appointment to head a forlorn hope 
at Tonquin ? " 

" \^o told you ? " Mabel continued to drink tea out of a cup she 
had already finished, and kept her eyes resolutely fixed on the 
rosebud at the bottom of it. 

"I met Curzon last night, and he was full of it Said he met 
Lyndhurst on Tuesday in Sloane Street in the most ridiculous hat, 
and he dashed past him in the wildest way — went off that very even- 
ing to Paris, cutting all his engagements. Curzon said it was just as 
well he did go, for no one could possibly have known him in such a 

Mabel said nothing, but helped herself to butter. "Plucky 
girl ! " thought Tom ; " she won't show if it hurts. I like her for 
that ! " 

"You would go, Tom dear, wouldn't you, if I could get another 
card ? " asked Mrs. Barrington, persuasively. " It would be so much 
nicer for Mabel and me if we had you with us — wouldn't it Mabel ? " 

"You had better take Tom in my place, mamma." Mabel jumped 
np and went hastily to the window under pretence of giving her 
canar)' a lump of sugar, but her hand shook so that it dropped on the 
floor of the cage, Tom observed. " I don't think I care much about 

" Not care ? Why a week ago your heart was set upon this thought- 
reading, and we were moving heaven and earth for the invitation. 
^Vhat has happened to you, Mabel ? " 

" Nothing ; only I suppose a week ago I had very little chance of 
going, so I longed for it Now that it is within my reach I don't care 
a bit about it,*' the girl answered, wearily. " It seems to me that is 
always the way ; one doesn't know the value of anything unless it is 

She fidgeted about the room for an instant or two and then made 
her escape upstairs, leaving her mother speechless with bewilderment 

110 Thought-Reading at Lady Clanjamfry's. 

and ToYn whistling the "Mulligan Guards" under his breath. It was 
the only tune Tom could whistle, and he always did it when he was 
perplexed, or at a loss, and a great deal on Sundays. 

" Poor Mabel ! " he ruminated. " Had a tiff with Lyndhurst, of 
course, and sent him off in a huff. Now, she wants him back again. 
Wonder what it was all about ? They seemed to be getting along 
bravely when I last saw them together. I shouldn't wonder if it 
was some of this supernatural, electro-biologising business has put 
his back up ; I know he hates it like poison. It sent one of his sisters 
half off her head, and Mabel, who used to be so hot about it, spoke 
quite venomously just now, as if she couldn't bear to hear it men- 
tioned. I must try and get it all straight for them. By-the-bye it 
would be fun if Van der Bosch, the wizard, turned out to be that 
rascally little Jew we kicked out of Colchester with his marked cards 
in his pocket. He used to profess some such occult arts, in bland 
and unbending moments in the small hours of the morning." 


On the afternoon of the 27th of July, three weeks after the forgoing 
occurrences, and the day of Lady Clanjamfry's soiree. Captain Bar- 
rington was walking up Piccadilly with his friend Lord Curzon. 

" You're coming to my aunt's afl^ir to-night, aren't you ? They 
are awfully short of men, and she told me to go out and catch any- 
body and everybody and make them come. You see it has got about 
that they are going to have this German thought-reader fellow, and 
most of the men think it all rot and have declined — ^and I don't 
blame them. But you're such a good-natured fellow, you won't 
refuse ? " 

" I don't know Lady Clanjamfry," Tom replied. " Look ! there's 
Lyndhurst ; he's much more your man. Didn't know he was home ! 
Rush after him now, and make him go to-night — only don't you tell 
him about the thought-reading, or you'll never get him." 

"Thanks 1 All right, I will — didn't know he was home, either. Come 
if you can, Barrington," and nodding to him hastily Lord Curzon 
hastened along Albemarle Street after the Colonel's retreating figure. 

" You must come, Lyndhurst ! You are one of my aunt's favourite 
young men, and I'm sent out like Noah's dove to bring you in. You 
would have had a card, of course, if you hadn't disappeared in that 
unaccountable manner. Now that you've come back, clothed ' 

" What do you mean ? " asked the Colonel. 

" Why you certainly didn't look in your right mind the last time I 
saw you in Sloane Street, a month ago. You had on a hat that 
Noah himself might have envied " 

" I'll come to Lady Clanjamfry's with pleasure," Lyndhurst inter- 
rupted, hastily, desirous of letting by-gones be by-gones. " Ah ! by 
the way, is Barrington going ? I saw him with you just now." 


ThoughUReading at Lady Clanjamfry's. iii 

" Says he doesn't know my aunt. I pressed him, but couldn't get 
him to promise," at which Colonel Lyndhurst looked exceedingly 
relieved, and promising to call for his companion at half-past ten 
o'clock, he and Lord Curzon went their separate ways. 

Meanwhile Tom Barrington had turned in at a well-known librar}' 
and theatrical agency, and re-emerged in a short time with a card in 
his hand which bore an address that he constantly perused as he 
walked eastward. Arrived at Piccadilly Circus, he crossed the road 
and dived into a narrow street leading to Golden Square, and was con- 
sequently lost to the gaze of the fashionable world. 


The thought-reader at Lady Clanjamfry's soiree was a little foreign 
faced Jew, brown and wiry as a Frenchman, without a single Teutonic 
trait to correspond with his German name. He stood in the centre 
of a red carpeted dais, which his hostess had erected at one end of 
her big drawing-room and in front of the boudoir door; the boudoir 
serving as a green-room. 

Lady Clanjamfry has, as everyone knows, a most effusive manner, 
which enables her to fill up what might otherwise prove awkward 
pauses, when, as often happens, she fails to identify people by their 
right names. She has a very large circle, and is perpetually exercising 
some new hobby round it To-night she has swooped upon a lumi- 
nary of the Church and an eminent physician, and has dragged them 
to two arm-chairs behind the experimentalist on the dais. 

" We must have men of note, you know ; one accustomed to direct 
the souls and the other the bodies of his fellow-creatures. Now what 
we want to complete the chain is, the Professor says, a man of mind, of 
intellect; also, if possible, a soldier, a commanding nature. Ah, 
Colonel Lyndhurst, is that you ? You are the very man we want to 
make our little experiment complete 1 You must positively oblige me 
by joining those two gentlemen on the platform as Herr Von Bosch- 
nunn's committee. We have none of us forgotten your wonderfully 
clever book on — on — the habits of the Afghans, wasn't it ? I know 
it enthralled me ! " 

And poor Lyndhurst, before he could assert either his detestation 
of all forms of occult power or the real topic of his book, found him- 
self on the dais too, alongside of the Clerical Celebrity and the Eminent 
Physician, who glared ferociously at him as the acknowledged " man of 

"For goodness sake take my place, Curzon," he expostulated. " I 
would not be here of my own will for anything you could give me 1 " 
But Curzon only shook his head, and with an innocent air asked if he 
looked like a ' man with a mind ? ' After which he slipped into a seat 
near his aunt, and the business of the soirde began. 

"You will, please, tie this handkerchief tightly about my face and 

112 Thought-Reading at Lady Clanjamfry*s. 

cover the eyes, leaving the nose exposed lo the air," said the Professor 
to the clerical celebrity. 

The clerical celebrity tried to do as he was desired, but in his 
anxiety he tied a granny knot; whereupon the eminent physician 
seized the bandage and wielded it with professional ability. Then 
Herr Von Boschmann requested Colonel Lyndhurst to conduct him to 
the front of the platform, and still holding his hand to attach himself 
to the eminent physician, who in his turn was to clasp the fingers of 
the clerical celebrity, though the latter in consequence of the slip with 
the * Granny,' was reduced to a position of minor importance and was 
evidently pondering whether such an exhibition were in keeping with 
his figure and his canonry. So there stood the four black figures 
against the startling relief of Lady Clanjamfry's cream coloured boudoir- 
door ; and very foolish they must look, Lyndhurst felt sure, and into 
his mind darted a feeling of relief that Tom Barrington did not know 
Lord Curzon's aunt He stared straight in front of him and won- 
dered how much longer this would last, when the Professor in broken 
English, rendered strangely nasal by the successful bandageing, 
announced that the chain of influencing power was still incomplete ; 
that another element was still necessary to make sufficient impression 
upon him to perform any successful experiments. 

" What we want is the female power, the great lever of the universe," 
explained the Professor, with a smile intended to be fascinating, though 
somewhat marred by the handkerchief. " Have we here a young lady, 
who will so far lay aside her own convenience, as to mount our plat- 
form and give us her assistance ? Is there here a young and beautiful 
lady of what I would describe as the auburn or purely English type, 
with fair complexion, hazel eyes, broad forehead and wavy chestnut 
hair ? " 

Lyndhurst started involuntarily ; it was an obvious description of 
Mabel Barrington. Could the thought-reader have looked into his 
mind as he thought of Tom and hoped Mabel would never hear of his 
appearance on Lady Clanjamfry's platform ? 

" This is the sort of influence I desire to add to my chain of con 
centrated power," continued the Professor. "Will any lady who 
corresponds with the description be so very kind as to volunteer ? " 

Whether the description given by the professor did not altogether 
accord with the canons of feminine beauty then in vogue, or whether 
the ladies were shy, does not appear, but it is certain that no ladies 
seemed inclined to move. The clerical celebrity, anxious to recover 
his lost prestige, signalled hopefully to an ample lady in black lace 
in the second row, and even attempted to cajole her as " my dear," 
but without effect 

" Will no one come to our aid and forward the interesting experi- 
ments of the evening ? " asked Von Boschmann again. " There is, I 
think, in the left-hand comer of the room, a young lady such as we 
require for our purpose. She is dressed in a white dress with golden 

Thotight'Reuding at Lady Clanjamfry's, 113 

stars, and has a golden star in the front of her hair. Can she be per- 
suaded to join us, for the sake of promoting the necessary influence ? " 

Lyndhurst's eyes darted to the comer indicated. In spite of the 
great length of the drawing-room, which is the special glory of Clan- 
jamfiy House, he in an instant discovered Mabel, seated beside her 
mother, and dressed exactly as the Professor had described, in the 
brand new toilette which Mrs. Barrington had insisted upon providing 
even at the fag-end of the season, the details of which had even inter- 
ested Tom, little as he w^as generally given to investigating ladies' attire. 

" You won't refuse ! You can't refuse, dear Miss Barrington ! 
Just consider how wonderful it all is, and how you alone are able to 
make it go off properly ! Why, he actually described you most accu- 
rately in spite of the bandage. I know you won't refuse to help us." 
In short Lady Clanjamfry would take no denial. 

" I don't like it," said Mabel, faintly. 

** It isn't as if it were in public," Lady Clanjamfry assured her. 
**\Ve are only a few friends met together for this curious investiga- 
tion, and in my drawing-room " 

" Nothing can happen but what is pleasant and proper," asserted 
Mabel's mamma, who was dying for her daughter to distinguish her- 
self. " Why, Mabel, you, who are so interested in these things and 
are such a capital medium 1 Don't keep Lady Clanjamfry waiting, but 
go and do anything you can to help." 

Lord Curzon gave her his arm, there was a faint murmur of applause 
from the people who were tired of waiting for a start, and Mabel Bar- 
rington and Frederick Lyndhurst once more stood opposite each 
other, with Professor Von Boschmann like a blindfolded cupid between 

" Ah ! this is all right at last ! " said the latter. 

Lyndhurst had never dared to meet Mabel's eyes, but as the Pro- 
fessor requested her to remove her long white glove and famiharly 
seized her bare hand, he could not repress a gesture of disgust and a 
swift glance in her direction. Her face was deadly pale, and the long 
kid glove was torn across the palm. 

" We are now fully prepared for any test you may wish to propose," 
announced Von Boschmann. " I will ask these two gentlemen," bow- 
ing in the direction of the cleric and the physician, with as much 
accuracy as the bandage permitted, " to accompany me to the green- 
room, while Miss Barrington and Colonel Lyndhurst arrange the form 
which the experiment is to take, and concentrate their minds upon it 
so as to offer every facility to the accomplishment of our purpose." 

But how was it possible for either Lyndhurst or Mabel to concen- 
trate their minds upon Lady Clanjamfry's carriage umbrella — ^which 
Lord Curzon gravely suspended to the centre chandelier, and which 
the united company designed the Professor to remove — when they 
stood not three yards apart from each other, in the centre .of the red 
daiSy and recollected how and why they had last parted ? 


114 Thought-Reading at Lady Clanjamfry^s. 

Perhaps this was why the success of the experiment seemed uncer- 
tain when, on recalling the Professor from the boudoir, he was once 
more placed between them, and clasping a hand of each pressed it to 
his temples. 

" Here are conflicting sensations ; you are not of the same mind,'* 
the operator said sternly. ** I will ask Miss Barrington to sit down/' 
(" There's really something in it," whispered the hostess, " for you 
observe he*s got the girl's name, and I'm sure he didn't know it ! ") 
" and beg Colonel Lyndhurst to concentrate all his attention on the 
subject in hand." 

A start, a plunge forward on the part of the Professor, a thrill of 
expectation all through the drawing-room ; Colonel Lyndhursfs arm 
is almost dislocated as his companion dashes off under a sudden in- 

But it is not towards the chandelier with the Damocles umbrella 
that Von Boschmann springs. It is to the distant chair which, the 
clerical celebrity having vacated, Mabel has appropriated, as far from 
the scene of action as is compatible with politeness to her hostess. 
Flinging himself at her feet Von Boschmann pours forth a torrent of 
words which fortunately are indistinguishable to the majority of the 
audience, though " Forgive me," " I love you, Mabel," " Life is nothing 
to me without you," are not to be mistaken ; while the gestures of the 
excited experimentalist denote the most extravagant form of passion- 
ate entrea^. 

Lady Clanjamfry sprang from her chair, and Mrs. Barrington did 
the same ; there was a rush at the drawing-room door of the people 
who had quietly remained in the tea-room and on the stairs, and who 
suddenly became aware that something exceedingly interesting was 
a-foot within ; Colonel Lyndhurst tore his hand from the thought- 
reader's brow, and the German rose to his feet with a smile and a 

" Am I not right ? Have I not performed your thought, read your 
meaning correctly ? " he asked, with an air of suppressed triumph. 

"Good heavens, no !" thundered Lyndhurst, seizing the unhappy 
Professor by the collar, and shaking him violently. " How do you 
dare insult a lady in this manner ? I will break every bone in your 
wretched little " 

Lady Clanjamfry, Mrs. Barrington, and Lord Curzon were all on 
the platform now. The lady of the house had her hand upon the in- 
furiated Colonel's arm. Lord Curzon had rescued the trembling and 
spluttering foreigner, Mrs. Barrington had flown to her daughter ; the 
clerical celebrity and the eminent physician had, with great presence 
of mind, interposed their portly persons between the audience and the 
group on the platform. 

" But he shall give me satisfaction," vociferated the Professor, 
though fortunately the bandage having fallen down over his lOM^uth .in 
the struggle, his expletives were not audible to the rest of ^t£e room. 

Thought-Reading at Lady Clanjamfry^s, 115 

" He has made me to fall upon my knees to this young lady, and offer 
her a declaration of affection, and now he denies the influence, and 
would shake the life out of me as well 1 Himtnd und Erde ! I will 
have satis&ction for this ! " 

The situation was so strained that the tension seemed almost 

" Dear Herr Professor," said Mabel, coming forward, holding put 
her hand, and with her soft, low voice perceptibly trembling, " I 
must ask you to forgive Colonel Lyndhurst and overlook his excitable 
temper. I think he has been quite overcome by the extraordinary 
exercise of your gift, for you must know " — ^here she looked bravely 
and steadily at the astonished Colonel — " he and I are just engaged, 
and perhaps we are both a little upset to find you know all about it ! 
Isn't that so, Frederick ? " 

" Herr Von Boschmann will now proceed to the original test of the 
evening," called out Lady Clanjamfry. And accordingly Von Bosch- 
mann, having resumed his bandage, was triumphantly conducted, by 
means of the clerical celebrity's white fingers on his forehead, to the 
caitre chandelier, whence, amidst ringing cheers, he detached the 
carriage umbrella. 

"And now I am sure we are all ready for supper," said her lady- 
ship. And if it occurred to anybody that a carriage-umbrella suspended 
in the middle of an evening party of the highest rank, might well have 
attracted the notice of the Professor during the interval of uncovered 
eyes which followed his first attempt, and might have possibly influ- 
enced the accuracy of his movements, they were either too polite or 
too hungry to mention it. 

Miss Barhngton's engagement was announced in the Morning 
Post two days afterwards, and Lyndhurst is still in so soft and yield- 
ing a mood that he allows Mabel to maintain that there is a " great 
deal in it," without opposition. 

Herr Von Boschmann, after his d^but in Lady Clanjamfry's drawing- 
room, of which varied accounts got about, but which all combined in 
proclaiming " eminently successful," is sure to have a great run among 
the Bayswater and South Kensington salons in the half-season. No- 
body would venture to doubt his great gift now, though some have 
whispered that the German's pronunciation becomes curiously nasal 
when he is excited, and might almost be taken for pure Yankee. Tom 
Harrington, though he was not at Lady Clanjamfry's famous party, 
could perhaps tell as much about him as anybody, but he is delighted 
at his sister's engagement and says no word. Some day, if Mabel gets 
too uppish, and insists upon the importance of occult influences, he 
will perhaps give his brother-in-law a hint which may restore the 
balance of power. 

G. B. Stuart. 



THERE was a busy stir, one October day in the year 1772, in 
the parsonage house of the httle town of Ottery St. Mary, in 
South Devon, where dwelt the clergyman of the parish and the 
master of the Grammar School, the two offices being united in the 
person of one and the same gentleman. The maid-servants scurried 
hither and thither, with rustling skirts and faces full of meaning ; the 
master of the house sat in the study, trying to write next Sunday's 
sermon, but, in reality, listening anxiously for any sound that might 
come from upstairs, where rapid feet seemed moving frequently. 

But where was the wife, mother and mistress ? She who, many 
years ago now, had entered the young widower's house — a. house 
already resounding with the prattle of three children — ^at once to 
reign over all, and minister to all : she to whom would come, alike, 
the Vicar to know the whereabouts of a truant book in his study, and 
the smallest schoolboy in the Grammar School to cure a cut finger. 
She was forced, for a while this autumn morning, to stay those 
willing feet, which were always so ready, at every call, to run up and 
down the vicarage stairs to bring help or comfort, for she had just 
given birth to her tenth child. There had gone a cry through the 
Devonshire vicarage, the first earthly utterance of Samuel Taylor 

The little fellow soon began to grow into the bright, intelligent toy 
of his parents and wilder brothers and sisters ; and then into some- 
thing more than a toy : a young spirit gazing out into the world with 
eager, enquiring eyes, that were singularly quick to catch new impres- 
sions, and with a mind into which those impressions slid rapidly, to 
bring forth still more rapidly flower and fruit. These Coleridges 
were a race, all of them, with more than a spark of wit in them, and 
it was in no dull, drowsy home that the boy gathered up his earliest 
ideas of life and things in general. 

His father died when little Samuel was seven, and the boy, with 
the rest of the children who were not as yet able to shift for them- 
selves, were left to the sole care and guardianship of Mrs. Coleridge, 
his mother. She. seems to have been a woman quite equal to such a 
charge ; a woman who could fill the place of both parents at once 
better than most of her sex. She had much feminine sympathetic 
tenderness in her nature, but, at the same time, she possessed a cool, 
shrewd, practical common-sense, which was almost man-like in its 
strength. She did not pet and spoil her youngest bom, great though 
was always her love for him and pride in him. She ruled him with 
a firm, yet gentle hand, and sent him to school early. 

At ten years old Samuel Taylor Coleridge was sent to Christ's 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 117 

Hospital, and became a bluecoat scholar. There he remained for 
several years, his mind unfolding in the direction which was natural 
to it. He did not distinguish himself especially by his classical pro- 
ficiency, but he showed he was a lad of mark in ways not so common 
among boys at public schools. He wrote much original composition, 
delighting especially in flights into poetry, and he read a vast number 
of books of all kinds. He is said to have carried on, indeed, quite a 
book-trade as a school-boy. He was incessantly picking up odd 
volumes on bookstalls, and going through intricate negotiations with 
his school comrades with regard to the sale, and purchase, and ex- 
change of books. 

From those school days at Christ's Hospital dates a friendship 
which was to be one of the brightest flowers in Samuel Taylor 
Coleridge's life; this was his friendship with Charles Lamb. We 
can picture to ourselves what sort of a boy's friendship that must 
have been. What rare and novel games in the playground; what 
fireworks of fun flashing from bed to bed after the candles were put 
out in the dormitory ; what evil days for dull, heavy boys when the 
pair took it into their heads to go forth on a grand campaign of 
mischief. Then, in more thoughtful moments, what sharing of bright, 
rainbow dreams of the future ; what high aspirations whispered by 
each to each ; what noble, earnest resolves made and kept the longer 
because they were made and kept together. 

At nineteen young Coleridge became an undergraduate at Jesus 
Collie, Cambridge. There was a certain amount of indolence in 
his character, and this prevented his gaining any very brilliant honours 
at the University. His mind was far more occupied with the leading 
questions of his day, than it was with dead languages and classical 
hteiature. His was a vigorous, energetic intellect, which threw itself 
into the struggles and heart-searchings and difficulties of the times 
in which he hved with vivid force and intensity, but possessed scanty 
ambition in the direction of the learning of the schools : so that, as 
far as this was concerned, he yielded to the native physical indolence 
of which we have spoken above. In his rooms at college. Homer 
and Thucydides were thrust aside to make way for recent publications 
which told of the state of men's minds in Europe, of rising schools 
of philosophy, of new, wild dreams of liberty and equality. When 
his friends came to spend the evening with him, he repeated to them 
no elegant Latin verses, but a pamphlet written by Edmund Burke, 
which he had learned by heart in the course of a single morning. 

The mind of young Coleridge at this period was indeed so inces- 
sandy floating away upon a sea of grand, speculative thought that it 
became fer too careless with regard to everyday temporal matters 
around him ; and of this, when he had been about a year at Cam- 
bridge, he received a most convincing and uncomfortable proof 

One morning the young undergraduate found lying on his break- 
fast-table, a bill to the amount of ;£ioo, from one of the leading 

ii8 Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

upholsterers of the University city. He stared at first in blank amaze- 
ment, and hurried off to the man's shop with words of angry denial 
on his lips. The tradesman was polite but firm. Mr. Samuel Taylor 
Coleridge certainly did owe him that sum; there was no mistake, 
no doubt about it ; he brought forward his book as a proof. Then 
slowly there dawned on the unlucky youth's mind the recollection of 
the fact that, on his first arrival at Cambridge, this upholsterer had 
written to him and asked him whether he should fiirnish his rooms 
for him. He had given an answer in the affirmative, and since then 
had never thought again of the matter, or even taken the trouble to 
wonder how the chairs and tables came into his apartments. 

This debt was a real blow to young Coleridge. Money was not 
too plentiful in the family, and he knew that his widowed mother 
had strained every nerve to meet the expense of sending him to 
college. He fell into a state of dreary despondency; a condition 
which was increased, just at this time, by a Miss Mary Evans, a 
young lady for whom he had conceived a violent boy's love : a senti- 
ment which just then, he declared, and probably believed, would 
last contemporaneously with his own life. A feeling of grand, hoi>e- 
less desperation, therefore, for a while, completely enveloped the 
young poet What with his debts, and what with his unlucky love, 
his great wish now was that his own identity should be completely 
lost both for himself and others. Samuel Taylor Coleridge should 
cease to be. But the question was how could this be done most 
effectually ? 

He did not wish to commit suicide : that would be too much of a 
good thing for even his tragic misery ; but he must find some other 
manner of vanishing into oblivion. 

Accordingly his fertile, imaginative brain set about considering 
what he could do to carry out his purpose. Just when he was in 
the midst of this problem, he happened to meet a recruiting 
sergeant passing down the street of a country town, and busily 
engaged in his duties. This sight seemed to young Coleridge to 
bring exactly the opportunity he wanted. He enlisted, under the 
name of Silas Titus Cumberbatch — thus retaining his own initials — 
into a foot regiment of the line as a private soldier. There was 
nothing very new in the idea, to be sure ; many heroes and non- 
heroes, both in and out of novels, had done such a thing before 
him ; and even a young poet, when at once in debt and in love, is 
only a man after all. 

For some months he remained in the regiment, going through 
all the common experiences of a private soldier's life in those days, 
when a private soldier's life was decidedly not exactly a record of 
" the sublime and beautiful," which he read about in the pages of his 
idol, Edmund Burke. His knowledge of human nature was, doubt- 
less, enlarged and enriched, but he had probably had more than 
enough of his escapade before it was over. The story ended in 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 119 

most unromantic fashion. Young Coleridge was discovered by his 
friends, his debts were paid by his relations, Mary Evans ceased to 
be a divinity in his fancy and became an exceedingly ordinary young 
woman, who wrought hideous figures in worsted-work, and played a 
tune or two indifferently on the harpsichord : and he went back to 
Cambridge and recommenced his undergraduate's Ufe there. 

Coleridge had been intended, since boyhood, for the Church. His 
mother had wished it, and his own inclinations had turned that way. 
At about this period, however, there occurred a change in his religious 
views which rendered it impossible for him conscientiously to take 
holy orders. He had become unfortunately tainted with the doctrines 
of Unitarianism ; so he gave up all thoughts of the Church as a pro- 
fession, and resolved to try to make a living out of literature. His 
genius was beginning to wake up, and he was growing to understand 
something of its power and breadth and height It may be as well 
to say here that Unitarianism did not remain Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 
creed for many years ; he returned to the doctrines of the Church of 
England, and became an earnest, if sometimes erring, yet faithful 
follower of her teaching, and observer of her forms. We may deplore 
the vacillation of such a man as Coleridge in so grave a matter as his 
religious opinions, yet of one thing we may be certain : he was always 

But to return to young Coleridge at Cambridge, when he deter- 
mined to give up the calling of a clergyman. 

Coleridge left the university without bearing away with him any 
laurels in the shape of honours that he had gained there. He was 
much attracted by the tone of some lectures which Robert Southey, 
as yet as much to fame unknown as himself, was delivering at Oxford. 
He went thither, and was introduced to him by some mutual acquaint- 
ance, and the two became, from that time forward, close friends. 
There were many notes of sympathetic harmony between them. They 
were both poets, the natures of both were innately noble and generous, 
they were both full of beautiful but impossible dreams concerning 
freedom and the improvement of the human race. 

Both Southey and Coleridge went to Bristol, where they found and 
became intimate with a young man called I^ovell, who held much the 
same grand, erratic opinions as themselves. The three, together, 
formed a project for emigrating to America, colonising land on the 
Susquehanna, and becoming the founders of a glorious new Republic. 

While they were waiting in Bristol to mature and carry out the 
plan, which was full of splendid golden dreams for the future, but 
sadly in want of a little solid capital in the present, the three young 
men, having not much else to do, employed their time in falling in 
love. Matrons would be needed to strike the key-note of society in 
the new Republic, a«d they could not do better than set about pro- 
viding themselves with these necessaries at once. There were three 
Misses Fricker with whom they had happened to fall in, and who 

120 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 

were all women of some degree of attraction both in mind and person. 
One was an actress in the Bristol theatre, one a schoolmistress, and 
one a milliner. These three became respectively Mrs. Lovell, Mrs. 
Southey, "and Mrs. Coleridge. The milliner was Coleridge's wife. 

Coleridge's choice was probably made somewhat in a hurry. Had 
he waited a little longer and reflected a httle more on the subject of 
selecting a hfe's companion, he would very likely have found and 
made his own a woman of more culture and refinement than the 
Bristol milliner. Yet still the union was, on the whole, a happy one. 
Sarah was endowed with sweetness and tenderness and with a fair 
share of natural wit and intelligence : and she loved her poet faith- 
fully to the end, though, for many years, circumstances compelled 
them to live entirely separate. Coleridge certainly never had any 
very high opinion of female intellect, and perhaps this arose from his 
having a woman of not much education for a wife. 

The scheme for emigration melted into thin air from mere want of 
funds ; Coleridge and Southey having quite enough to do to support 
themselves and their young wives, let alone talking of paying their 
passage to America. A kindly Bristol bookseller, who was also a 
man of hterary discernment, and who saw the dawn of genius in the 
two young men, gave them sufficient work to keep the pot boiling. 
This bookseller's name was Joseph Cottle. He paid Coleridge thirty 
guineas for a volume of poems, a sum which was considered quite a 
mine of wealth by husband and wife. He also helped him to start 
a periodical, which, however, had to be given up in a few months, 
because it did not pay its own expenses. 

Young Mr. and Mrs. Coleridge first lived in a cottage at Clevedon, 
which they rented for ^5 a year, and which was so scantily pro- 
vided with household goods that, on the very evening of their 
arrival there, Coleridge wrote to Southey asking him to send him 
from Bristol, as quickly as he could, a kettle and a toasting-fork, 
together with many other indispensable articles. As we speak the 
well-loved and honoured names of our two great poets, there is some- 
thing half touching, half ludicrous in the thought of their means 
being so small that such communications needed to pass between 
them ; and we wonder a little what Mrs. Coleridge and Mrs. Southey 
were about, that they, instead of their husbands, did not attend to 
such matters. Yet still, on the other hand, this list of articles wanted 
in the Clevedon cottage, suggests a pretty thought of the picnic- 
like sort of life the young pair must have led in their earliest married 
days. What laughter there must have been over strange makeshifts^ 
what wit must have leapt from the lips of the poet, what graceful, 
winsome perplexities on the part of the bride housekeeper ! 

Coleridge walked into Bristol daily from Clevedon, there to find 
any employment Joseph Cottle could give him. After a while he grew 
tired of this, and then the young couple gave up the cottage to inhabit 
apartments in Bristol. They did not remain in these very long ; the 

Sjm:icl Taylor Coleridge. I2i 

poet loved best a country life ; he had a great friend in Mr. Poole, 
who lived at the village of Nether Stowey, in Somersetshire, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Coleridge soon migrated to another cottage there. It was 
a little larger than the one at Clevedon, but still no palace. 

And now a picture in Coleridge's life rises up before us ; a picture 
which shows us how the star of fame first dawned for him ; and a 
picture which reveals to us, too, the commencement of one of the 
highest and dearest friendships of his life. We will pause to gaze 
at it for a moment. 

In the cottage garden, where the summer moonlight is playing softly 
on the flowers, two gentlemen and two ladies are sitting. The mis- 
tress of the house is bending tenderly over a tiny garment, upon which 
her skilful fingers are busy, creating pretty wonders out of lace and 
lawn ; she sits somewhat apart from the others, and does not seem to 
heed much their talk, bright and beautiful talk though it is. The 
things sp>oken of between her husband and his friends are things too 
high for Sarah Coleridge. And besides, how can she listen now to 
any talk in the world except the talk of her own thoughts, when she, 
the young expectant mother, is preparing garments for her coming 
child ? Her lips are silent, her eyes do not even turn towards her 
companions, but smiles often play round her mouth. 

It is an inspired face ; a face all fire ; yet a face with shadows often 
flitting over it, the face of the man who is the greatest talker of the 
other three. He talks as if he were so rich in words he hardly knew 
which to choose first, enlarging on every subject, and turning it inside 
out with lightning-like rapidity. The other man, with those deep, 
earnest, wondrous eyes and that brow which looks like the very 
sanctuary of thought, speaks less ; yet when he does speak his soul 
seems to make every sentence like a bar of music on an organ, there 
is so much that is sweet and fair in the simple language. The lady 
sitting between them says less than either of them ; but her whole face 
is talking, even when her lips are closed, as she glances from one to 
the other with bright, keenly-interested looks ; and now and then she 
puts in a word which fits exactly into its place in the conversation, 
and makes a listener feel that it would have been incomplete without 
it. She is no beauty, yet hers is a sympathetic face, hers is an unr 
wonted play of changeful expression, and often those who watch her 
say, " How charming," as they gaze. No wonder these three are such 
congenial companions, for they are Coleridge and his newly-made 
friends, William Wordsworth and his sweet second self, his sister 

The talk this evening is of a projected walking tour into North 
Devon, when they will visit Lynton ; and Coleridge is giving, by hear- 
say, vivid word pictures of the Devon coast, with all its romance of 
rock and tiny sheltered bays, fit dressing-rooms for the sea nymphs. 
But the worst part of the matter is that none of the party can raise 
enough money to pay even one night's tavern bill. Then Coleridge 

122 Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

cries out that he will write a poem that shall pay the expenses of the 
whole trio, and thereupon " The Ancient Mariner " is written, and 
Coleridge's fame as a poet is at once established. 

After a time Coleridge removed from Somersetshire, and went to 
live at Keswick. This change of abode was, no doubt, partly due to 
a wish to be near Wordsworth and Southey, who had both settled in 
the north of England. The first years here were probably the hap- 
piest years of his life. He had around him a true poet's world of lake 
and mountain, in which he delighted, and his children were grow- 
ing up at his side : his son, of whom he predicted great things, though 
probably, if he had lived, he would have turned out, like most ^rnous 
men's sons, only half a success ; and his daughter, Sarah, a delicate, 
brilliant, ethereal creature, into whose woman's nature were woven 
several threads of her father's genius. She became an authoress in 
after life, and married her cousin, the Rev. Henry Coleridge. 

This noontide of Coleridge's story was not, however, to remain long 
unclouded. He was seized with a violent rheumatic attack, in which 
he suffered extremely. He got better, but gnawing, wearing pain still 
hung about him in every limb. In common with many men and 
women of genius, he had an irritability of nerves, which made physical 
suffering especially hard for him to bear. He began to take opium to 
deaden the bodily agony, and continued the practice until it became a 
fixed habit that held him in slavish chains. 

For several years Coleridge remained under that thraldom, which 
weighed on body and spirit alike ; but, at length, the nobler part of 
his manhood rebelled against it, and he resolved to free himself, cost 
what it might. He left his home and his family, and went to reside 
with a Mr. Gillman, at Highgate Grove. With continuous, and pain- 
ful, and almost gigantic effort, he broke from the bondage that held 
him and had disgraced his genius and his character, and the evil habit 
was completely given up ; a most heroic victory gained by the man 
and the Christian. 

It was during the latter years of his life that Coleridge especially 
developed his talent as a talker, and it was from conversations with 
him at this period that the " Table Talk " was gathered. Perhaps it was 
his extreme eloquence and readiness with his tongue that made 
Coleridge, great genius though he was, write so comparatively little 
poetry. Beautiful as is the legacy which he has bequeathed to pos- 
terity, we cannot but feel that there was much more that was beautiful 
in the man which never found its way on to paper at alL 

Coleridge died in 1834, leaving a glorious name to be added to the 
roll-call of England's greatest and best-loved children. 

Alice King. 



By Joyce Darrell, Author of ''The Sapphire Cross.** 



WITHIN a few hours of Miss Millicent's death, Sir Edward had 
again appeared in hot haste at the Hall. 

" Have you heard ? " he said breathlessly to Mr. Hillyer, who had 
heard nothing, his sister's condition during the previous day having 
excluded him from the outer world. 

" It is the most singular thing," continued Sir Edward. " I went 
away from home yesterday, overwhelmed at the awful fate, as I sup- 
posed, of my poor friend. I had important business in York, and 
consequently fixed the inquest for to-morrow. Last night, when I 
reached home, my butler met me with the most unexpected story. 
The servants, who, like myself, were at first completely deceived, had 
gradually made the discovery that the body brought in is not 
Vandyken's ; and I have now reason to believe it is that of a man 
named Clarence Dare." 

Before Mr. Hillyer could recover from his surprise, Mr. Sherlock 
and Godfrey entered the room, and to them the news was immedi- 
ately communicated. 

" But how did the mistake arise in the first instance ? Who found 
the body ? " asked Mr. Sherlock. 

" Some of the men of the farm. Vandyken not appearing at dinner 
time I thought it likely he had missed his way on the moors, and I 
sent out some labourers with lanterns to look for him. They went as 
iaras the old Quarry without meeting a soul. There one fellow, 
sharper than the rest, noticed that the ground was broken, and bore 
marks of a fall or a struggle. By the light of their bull's-eyes they 
fancied they saw a dark mass at the bottom of the pit One of them 
descended, found the body, mistook it for my guest's, and brought it 
home. It so happened that the footman who habitually waited on 
Vandyken was away ; the women who laid out the corpse had never 
seen him close, and the rest of the household were as deceived as 
inysel£ The truth is the body was so disfigured that we all shrank 
from more than a cursory glance at it." 

"You mean the face was disfigured : but was the resemblance other- 
wise striking," asked Godfrey, speaking for the first time. 

" Most striking. Height, build, hair — all are alike. This Dare, if 
he it be, has a long, white beard like Vandyken's, and even the colour 

124 ChristobeL 

of his suit, a grey one, is the same. But the cut is different ; and 
his watch, chain and purse are also quite distinct. He wears a 
diamond pin, which, it seems, nobody ever saw on Vandyken, and he 
turns out, on measurement, to be a very little shorter." 

" Are there any papers about him? " 

" There is a letter which, strangely enough, is addressed to Van 

" Addressed to Vandyken ! " repeated in astonishment Mr. Hillyer, 
when sharply interrupted by Mr. Sherlock. 

" And all this time, where is Vandyken ?" 

" He has disappeared." 

" The plot thickens then," said Mr. Hillyer. " It is possible that 
there is some connection between this Dare's presence yesterday in 
the neighbourhood and Vandyken's sudden eclipse. You read the 
letter I conclude. Does it throw any light on the matter ? " 

"I can trust you all, of course," replied Sir Edward, after a 
moment's hesitation. " As the contents of the letter must be com- 
municated to the coroner, they cannot be considered a secret. But 
Vandyken may return, or write and explain everything, and until then 
discretion is advisable. The letter is from a man in New York, who 
appears to have had business with Vandyken, and had apparently 
sent Dare over as an emissary to him. It points, I must own, to 
dealings of a very shady character, and threatens Vandyken with 
exposure and ruin, unless a marriage which the writer does not specify 
shall take place. I presume that the lady must be somebody belong- 
ing to Vandyken, a sister or a niece perhaps. I remember once 
hearing him say that he had no daughter." 

" Do you know anything of his family ? " asked Mr. Hillyer. 

" To tell the truth, nothing. I liked the man, and became inti- 
mate with him too incautiously, I fear." 

" Mrs. Chisholm has mentioned several times that she saw Miss 
Fane talking, the day before yesterday, to Mr. Vandyken at the old 
Quarry. That young lady could at least tell us at what hour the 
American was last visible in these parts." This suggestion came froa 
Mr. Sherlock, and was met by a quick protest from Godfrey. 

" I cannot see the use of tormenting Miss Fane," he exclaimed. 

" Torment ? Nonsense ! " said Mr. Hillyer, briskly, unaware, per- 
haps, how much his latent dislike to Christobel added to his zeaL 
" We will send for Miss Fane immediately." And he rang the bell 
and gave the order. Godfrey looked annoyed. 

Christobel came instantly in answer to the summons. Her manner 
was as calm as usual, but she turned a shade paler on observing Sir 
Edward. Godfrey drew forward a chair for her ; then walked over to 
the fireplace and stood there in such a position as to face Christobel, 
while the three men had their backs to him. Sir Edward began 
by asking Miss Fane if she could state the exact time of her 
meeting with Mr. Vandyken. She had shown no surprise at the 

Christobeh 125 

baronet's news, and now answered : " If you allude to the meeting that 
Mrs. Chisholm witnessed the day before yesterday, the person I was 
then talking to was not Mr. Vandyken, but a man called Clarence 
Dare. I had known him very slightly, two years ago, in New York. 
I met him quite by chance on the moors, and was much surprised to 
see him, having no idea that he was in England. He told me that 
he was going to your house. Sir Edward, but had made a mistake in 
the line of railway and found himself at the wrong station. He had 
fancied the walk across the moors, and had consequently taken that 
road in preference to waiting two hours for a cross-country train." 

" Did he mention his object in going to Meredyth's ? " asked Mr. 

"We know that he wished to see Vandyken," interrupted Godfrey, 
looking steadily at Christobel. 

Mr. Sherlock turned and glanced at the young man, while Mr. 
Hillyer said petulantly, " Let Miss Fane answer for herself, Verschoyle. 
It is impossible otherwise to understand anything clearly." 

"I beg pardon," replied Godfrey, good humouredly; "my impatient 
curiosity runs away with me. Proceed, Miss Fane. Dare, 0/ course, 
mentioned Vandyken to you ? " 

" Yes. He asked if I knew for certain of his being still Sir Edward's 

" Had you been acquainted also with Vandyken in America ? " re- 
sumed the host, and again Verschoyle interposed, 

" You introduced him yourself to Miss Fane in this very house, a 
week ago. A much more important question is : When Miss Fane 
separated from Dare, did she leave him at the Quarry ? " 

" Yes," said Christobel, in a low voice, and for the second time 
betrayed some slight agitation. 

" Was he alone ? " 

" When I met him he was quite alone." 

" And when you left him ? " 

She clenched her hands tightly together, and looking at nobody but 
Godfrey, answered slowly, " He was with Mr. Vandyken, who came 
up while I was speaking to Dare. He appeared as much surprised 
to see him as I had been. Then — I left" 

" So that is all you know ? " 

"i4//," repeated Christobel, firmly. 

"And, consequently, the mystery is as great as ever," remarked 
Godfrey, coming forward with a bored expression, as if disappointed 
at learning no more. I can see nothing for you to do, Meredyth, 
l>ut to wait quietly until Vandyken gives signs of life." 

Sir Edward rose to go. " There is the inquest to-morrow. I am 
afraid I shall have to ask Miss Fane to appear at it and give testi- 
mony as to Dare's identity," he said, courteously. 

Christobel answered that he could depend upon her, and Verschoyle 
accompanied Sir Edward to the hall door. 

126 ChristobeL 

" I am glad that interrogatory is over," said Godfrey, standing by 
the baronet's horse. " That poor girl is naturally nervous, and very 
much shattered just now by Miss Millicent's death. With one excep- 
tion, everybody in the house is either openly or covertly unkind to 
her. Mr. Hillyefs manner to her strikes me as particularly harsh. 
Does it not you ? " 

Sir Edward, being very kind-hearted, agreed at once. 

'* Women are always scared at even the shadow of the law, and hate 
being asked a string of questions. I am afraid Miss Fane will break 
down altogether to-morrow if the coroner badgers her. And you can 
see for yourself — ^any person of real penetration can — how sensitive 
she is, and how little she knows of the business after all," continued 

" Very little indeed," replied Sir Edward, flattered at being con- 
sidered a person of "real penetration." "All right, III speak to 
Muirhead myself, and tell him to be gentle with her. He is a good 
fellow, though a bit of an ass. Good-bye." And the baronet rode 
off, thinking to himself that Verschoyle took an unusual amount of 
interest in Miss Fane, but that it was not to be wondered at, consider- 
ing how handsome she was. And being imitative, he immediately 
began to feel interested in her himself. 

At the inquest Christobel stated that she had known Clarence Dare 
in New York, having met him first at a dance in that city, and 
casually on various occasions later. Asked if he and Vandyken 
were intimate, she answered that according to common report they 
were, and so hke one another as to be called the " Siamese Twins ; " 
but affirmed (without being asked) that until the interview on the 
moors she had never seen them together. As she was quite unable 
to throw any light on what happened on that occasion, her examina- 
tion did not last long, and nobody else being there to give testimony of 
any importance, the jury brought in a verdict of " Accidental Death," 
but appended a rider to the effect that there were circumstances in 
the case of grave suspicion against a person or persons unknown. 

Vandyken all this time remained invisible, and the examination of 
his luggage left behind at Sir Edward's gave no clue as to his possible 
whereabouts. But the mystery of his disappearance was soon partially 
solved by the news of his ruin. The failure was gigantic, and the 
cablegram announcing it declared it also to be fraudulent Vandyken 
suddenly figured as a daring and unscrupulous adventurer, who, 
for a time, had imposed himself successfully on the financial world 
of New York. His real name even appeared unknown. 

Clarence Dare had evidently come to England as a messenger of 
evil tidings. Vandyken, on hearing his news, found the game was 
up, and presumably thought that the sooner he departed, leaving no 
trace behind him, the better. This, the charitable-minded, considered 
was quite sufficient explanation of his flight, between which and Dare's 
death there was not necessarily any connection. 

ChristobeL 127 

But the police are not charitable-minded, and they intended to 
unearth Vandyken if they could, more especially as the government of 
his own countiy was pursuing him, on a charge of swindling. 

The papers were full of the affair for a few days, and the public 
expected great things. It was announced that the police had inform- 
ation, and that there would probably be a trial. Satisfied with 
this assurance, people were content to wait, and — waiting — they 
began to forget 

Meanwhile Miss Millicent had been buried with all the pomp 
becoming a Hillyer ; but Christobel, at Geraldine's desire, remained 
for a few days at the Hall. Mr. Hillyer, disliking and mistrusting 
her, was not sorry to keep her near him until his sister's will was 
read. He had yet to determine the conduct he should observe 
towards Miss Fane should she be, as he feared, universal legatee. 

A great surprise awaited him, however, in the discovery that Miss 
Millicent had nothing to leave. Her lawyers lost no time in com- 
municating the fact that some years previously she had lost the 
greater part of her money in an unfortunate speculation, and had 
sunk the remainder in an annuity which enabled her to keep up a 
delusive appearance of wealth. 

She had possessed very valuable plate and jewels ; but on enquiry 
it appeared that these had vanished as utterly as her fortune. No 
trace of them was to be found, but Miss MiUicent's maid, when 
questioned on the subject by Mr. Hillyer, expressed her belief that 
her mistress had secretly and gradually sold them. What she had 
done with the money thus realised became the next problem. 
Mr. Hillyer, in the bitterness of his heart, concluded that in one way 
or another it had been spent for the benefit of Christobel Fane. He 
was not sufficiently master of himself to prevent these suspicions be- 
coming partially apparent when speaking with his sister's prot^g^e, 
and the girl was deeply wounded by them. She said she knew nothing 
of the plate or jewels, but Mr. Hillyer had difficulty in believing her ; 
and although good breeding made him conceal his incredulity, good- 
breeding was not always as strong as his resentment. 

" May I be allowed to ask how your acquaintance with my sister 
began. Miss Fane ? " he asked once, with evident irritation. 
" I knew her through a mutual friend," replied Christobel, coldly. 
"A friend of the family?" 
" I have no reason to suppose so." 

Mr. Hillyer was more than displeased. "You do not seem 
to be communicatively inclined, Miss Fane, but you must feel that 
my sister's extraordinary interest in you warrants curiosity on my 

Christobel did not answer, and Mr. Hillyer, with fresh anger at 
her silence, continued : " Are you willing to account in no way for 
an attachment so sudden, and, considering my sister's nature and 
habits, you must allow me to add — so inexplicable ? " 


128 ChrhtobcL 

" Not inexplicable, I think," softly interposed Geraldine, who was 
present, gliding forward and taking her guest's hand. The colour 
rushed to Christobers face. She was touched as any sign of sympathy 
from Geraldine alone had power to touch her. 

" Your sister was old and lonely," she said, turning to Mr. Hillyer. 
** Was it so strange that at the end of her life, feeling weaker and 
more dependent, probably, than we ever guessed, she should have felt 
some need of love and companionship ? You mistrust me, I know," 
added the girl, her voice vibrating with an unexplained emotion, "and 
I confess that I have not the power entirely to justify myself in your 
eyes. But, believe me, the strongest, deepest tie between myself and 
your sister was the solace, tardy and imperfect indeed, that my com- 
prehension of her sorrows brought her." 

She drew a little closer to Mr. Hillyer, and, looking up at him with 
her lovely, appealing eyes, clasped her hands together with the gesture 
of one who would supplicate, if she dared. The little movement, 
slight though it was, had something strangely pathetic in it, for it 
was eloquent of all the feeling that Christobel, for some reason, kept 
so resolutely veiled. Geraldine wondered how her father could resist 
it, but Mr. Hillyer felt nothing but a vexed disdain. 

"Solace? Sorrow?" he repeated contemptuously. "You must 
excuse me. Miss Fane, but the question between us does not admit 
of sentiment. My sister chose to separate herself from her kindred, 
and to spoil her whole life, out of morbid regret for a worthless 
individual. I constantly made efforts to be reconciled to her " 

He stopped abruptly. For all his callous egotism, Mr. Hillyer 
quailed beneath the sudden scorn of ChristobePs glance. But rage 
was the feeling that predominated in him, and he resumed : 

" I have asked some questions which you do not choose to answer. 
I do not know who you are. I do not 7vish to know — and I can see 
no reason for prolonging our interview." 

" Nor I for burdening you further with my presence in any way," 
said Christobel. " I shall be gone in an hour." 

" Oh no, no ! Do not leave us in this manner. I entreat you to 
remain a little longer," exclaimed Geraldine. 

" It is impossible," replied Christobel, firmly. 

" Miss Fane knows her own business best, Geraldine," said Mr. 
Hillyer, who was angrily pacing the room. But his daughter, for 
once, did not mind his displeasure, and again addressing Christobel, 
she said earnestly, " What will you do in London, all alone ? Forgive 
me for asking : Have you any friends ? " 

" I have friends, though not many. You are very good, but you 
must not vex yourself about me. No harm will come to me from 
being alone." And Christobel quitted the room. 

She was as good as her word, and took leave of them in an hour. 
They were all assembled when she came to say farewell, and parted 
from her in a manner as various as their characters and their moods. 

ChristobeL 129 

Mr. Hillyer was glacial; Geraldine sorrowful; Godfrey unusually 
eamest Mrs. Chisholm thought the opportunity a good one for 
being insolent unrebuked, and was greatly surprised, not to say cha- 
grined, when Mr. Sherlock transfixed everybody else with amazement 
by asking Miss Fane if she would leave an address. 

Chiistobel crimsoned to the roots of her hair. It was evident that 
the demand embarrassed as much as it astonished her. With an effort, 
the girl replied that a letter addressed to Vere Street Post Office would 
always find her ; and then she turned to go. Nobody spoke as she 
passed down the room, for the latest incident, as heightening the mys- 
tery which surrounded her, had impressed even Geraldine unfavourably. 
But as she reached the door, Godfrey sprang forward to open it, and 
uttered some words in a low voice, which, though unheard, were ob- 
served by two people — Mrs. Chisholm and Geraldine. The former 
was maliciously delighted — the latter turned pale, and endured an 
hour of doubt's keenest anguish. But since her engagement to 
Godfrey had become a settled thing, she had learnt to know him very 
well, and to trust him with all the fulness of a nature sweet indeed, 
but not uncourageous. And, later, she frankly asked him if he had 
been previously acquainted with Christobel. 

"You have guessed it, then," said Godfrey, taking his betrothed's 
two littie hands into his own. " Yes ; I had known Christobel Fane 
before meeting her here, and I am acquainted with some facts of her 
strange and tragic history. I have never told you anything because I 
could not tell you all. But you are just and true, my darling. Will 
you trust me, and believe in A^r ? " 

Geraldine laid her pretty golden head on his shoulder, and said 
gently, " I will never ask you another question, and I will trust you to 
the end." 


Godfrey and Geraldine were to have been married before Christmas, 
when two unexpected events altered their plans. One of the younger 
Hillyer children fell ill of a lingering malady, and was ordered to 
London for treatment and advice. The little invalid had been 
Geraldine's especial care, and to leave her . while ill was not to be 
thought of. So the marriage was put off: and the next thing to 
happen was the sudden and unexpected engagement of Mr. Hillyer to 
Mrs. Chisholm. 

This event took everybody by surprise — the chief parties concerned, 
perhaps, as much as anybody. Perverseness on the gentleman's side 
and disappointment on the lady's probably accounted for their resolu- 
tion. Mr. Hillyer, in his sullen, soured way, never lost the opportunity 
of doing a foolish thing ; and Mrs. Chisholm had awakened abruptly to 
the knowledge that her admii;ers were diminishing as the signs of age 
in her increased. Be this as it may, the engagement was an ac- 
ou xu K 

130 ChristobeL 

complished fact, and Geraldine had to welcome the widow in her new 
capacity with the best grace she could. 

One result, and not the most agreeable, of this new state of 
things was that Mrs. Chisholm became inseparable from her " darling 

On arriving in London, Mr. Hillyer took apartments in the street 
where his bride-elect resided, and that lady was oftener in his residence 
than in her own. Among their earliest visitors was Fortescue, who 
brought some surprising news about himself. He had lost a large 
sum of money, had sold out of the army, and set himself to study 
painting as a profession. He already attended an evening school of 
design, and was about to enter the studio of a friend who purposed 
to go abroad. 

Geraldine was touched at his changed circumstances, and the 
manly courage which he showed under them. Mrs. Chisholm could 
not be expected to feel any interest in a person who was no longer 
rich ; and she would have left the whole burden of the conversation 
to Miss Hillyer, had not Fortescue, after some hesitation, enquired 
for Christobel Fane. 

Mrs. Chisholm saw her opportunity for wounding and, to do her 
justice, on such an occasion she was never backward. 

" You have not heard, then, of the dreadful events in Femholme ? "' 

she exclaimed. " Miss Fane ^ah ! I sadly fear 1 regret that I 

did not at that time possess sufficient authority with Dena to have 
prevented all intimacy between her zndthat unprincipled adventuress^ 
" I am afraid I must trouble you to explain yourself," said For- 
tescue, sternly ; while Geraldine, more angry with Mrs. Chisholm than 
she cared to show, said hastily, " You read, I suppose, of Clarence 
Dare's death and the inquest ? " 

Yes, Fortescue had ; but he failed to see in what way the facts 
which transpired could justify an unfavourable opinion of Miss Fane. 
Mrs. Chisholm, assuming a long-suffering air, suggestive of unutter- 
able things, remarked that she might be uncharitable; but in the 
world to which she had always belonged young ladies who sur- 
rounded themselves with mystery, who came one knew not whence, 
and went one knew not whither were not usually considered desirable 

Fortescue's brow was darkening ominously. Geraldine, helped by 
Verschoyle, who came in while Mrs. Chisholm was speaking, hastened 
to change the conversation ; but their visitor remained gloomy and 
distrait, and in a short time took his leave. Verschoyle went with 
him into the hall, and there laying a hand upon his shoulder, said 
kindly : " You must forgive me, old fellow, for having guessed some- 
thing of your secret, and for telling you not to mind what is said by 
that little viper. Her malice and envy supply all her information, for 
she really knows nothing of Christobel Fane." 
" And do you ? " asked Fortescue, briefly. 

ChristobeL 131 

"Circumstances have placed me in possession of some facts con- 
cerning her which I am not at liberty to divulge. But this much I 
can teU you, that a nobler or a purer woman never breathed." 

"I don't need to be assured of that," replied Fortescue, with a 
gravity that spoke worlds for the depth of his feeling. " Can you tell 
me where she is ? " 

" I am as much in the dark as yourself at present, but I shall, I 
believe, know in time." 

"Then I must wait Good-bye." 

The thought of Christobel had dwelt constantly with Fortescue 
since they parted. The desire to see her again, to learn the secret oi 
her strange melancholy, and to win her love had been strengthened in 
him by absence. Uncertainty as to his future at the time of his abrupt 
departure from Fernholme had prevented his coming to any resolution ; 
but Christobel had grown to be the one ideal which ennobled and 
brightened his life. 

His own nature had changed through the necessity of work, and in 
the purer mental air to which his effort lifted him, her image — ^gracious, 
serious, solemnly sweet — seemed like an embodiment of all that was 
highest in his new-born aspirations. Through the loss of many illu- 
sions he had gained a truer insight and a holier faith ; and he felt that, 
be appearances against her what they might, he would never again 
meet a woman so pure and noble as this mysterious and unknown 
girl Uncertainty as to her fate had intensified his longing to see her, 
and now that Godfrey's words had given him fresh hope, he was 
lighter-hearted than he had been for weeks. 

The following day he went to see the studio he was to occupy. 

" It isn't bad for London, you see," said its actual tenant. Jack 
Vivian. " When it happens not to be foggy the light is very good. 
That open space at the back, dignified with the name of Cardigan 
Gardens, is not of an inviting aspect, but it affords a great deal of air, 
and those tall houses which flank one side, and are let out in flats, 
have something about them which, by a stretch of imagination, might 
be called Italian." 

"The imagination then would require to be robust, and the stretch 
a very long one," said Fortescue, laughing, as he glanced at the row 
of red-brick houses, built on the latest aesthetic principles. 

" You are unjust, my dear fellow. Look at that arched loggia on 
the top story. Last summer, when the weather was not too sneezy, 
an old Italian music-master was accustomed to come out there and 
smoke, and latterly an uncommonly pretty girl has appeared at times 
to feed some pigeons. By jove ! there she is." 

And Fortescue, glancing carelessly upwards, beheld Christobel 

" Isn't she lovely ? " continued Vivian, enthusiastically. " I have 
been making frantic efforts to know her, but so far have only suc- 
ceeded in becoming acquainted with the old man, Mirandola. He 

132 ChfistobeL 

lives with an ancient sister and this beautiful girl, whom they guard 
like dragons. By-the-by, you used to sing at one time. Didn't 
Mirandola teach you ? " 
" Yes," said Fortescue. 

" Lucky dog ! Then you will be able to call, the temptation of 
renewing your former acquaintance with the maestro being too great 
to resist. And Mirandola will have to introduce you to his niece, 
whether he likes it or not." 

" But why do you call her his niece ? " 

" She must be something to him, and her recent appearance on the 
scene is against the hypothesis of her being his daughter. Going, old 
fellow ; good-bye. I start for Italy to-morrow." 

The first thing Fortescue did, after installing himself in the studio 
the next day, was to walk to the window and strain his eyes upwards. 
They were not blessed anew with the gracious vision that had charmed 
them before ; but the mere knowledge that such a thing was possible 
transformed Cardigan Square into a Garden of Armida. 

He did not lose much time in calling on Signor Mirandola, and was 
most warmly received. The little Italian had heard of his former 
pupil's reverse of fortune, but that rather added to than detracted from 
the cordiality of his greeting. He introduced Fortescue to his sister^ 
who presently came in — a quiet, dried-up little spinster, as Italian as 
she could be, although out of love for her brother she had wrenched 
herself from the land of her birth. 

Her conversation, although genial, was limited, and Signor Miran- 
dola having exhausted his first raptures, was perforce beginning them 
(like Browning's thrush) all over again ; when Fortescue, in sheer 
desperation, asked them if they lived all alone. 

" We have an invalid friend, who never goes out," said Signor 
Mirandola, carelessly. 

" And latterly we have taken into the house a pupil of my brothers, 
a young lady, who will probably enter the profession one day, but at 
present earns her livelihood by teaching," added the 6ignora. 

Almost before she finished speaking Fortescue sprang to his feet, 
for the door had opened and Christobel stood inside it. On perceiv- 
ing the visitor she started and turned red, then deadly pale. Her 
first expression had been unmistakably one of gladness, but it was 
succeeded by a look of terror. She glanced in a curious, helpless way 
at Signor Mirandola. 

" At last I have found you," said Fortescue, in a low voice, as he 
took her passive hand. " I seem to have waited years for it." 

Signor Mirandola, doubtless enlightened as to the real object of his 
visitor's coming, became rather cold in manner, but to this Fortescue 
remained obstinately blind. The charm of his bearing, which could 
be great when he chose, vanquished the Signora Marianna, who, 
like a true woman, was much struck by the advantage to Christobel 
of having so del'P^htful a young man in love with her. When Fortescue 

Christobel. 133 

rose to go, she invited him to return, and added that the best time 
would be evening. 

"He will make it less dreary when you are out," she answered later, 
with quiet obstinacy to her brother's remonstrances. "You know 
that Concetta" (the Mirandola*s one servant and Marianna's foster 
sister) " never tells anything for all her talking, and why should not 
that poor girl see the young man sometimes ? I believe he wants to 
marry her." 

Needless to say that Fortescue was not slow to avail himself of the 
kindly old maid's invitation ; and it soon became quite a habit with 
him to mount those five pairs of stairs — ostensibly for a game of 
whist which, when her brother was not present, the Signora Marianna 
was invariably allowed to win. 

The little household would have interested Fortescue even had 
Christobel not been there. It had remained singularly foreign, as 
many such households in London do. Concetta, who, as Marianna 
said, "talked so much and told so little," cooked r/W// for her master, 
made soupe maigre for her mistress, and argued with both of them 
as though she had never left her native hills, 

Signora Marianna, the soul of Piedmontese method and order, tied 
a silk pocket-handkerchief over her grey locks of a morning, and swept 
and dusted with praiseworthy energy^ Her brother rated his woman- 
kind from dawn to dewy eve, and spent most of his evenings abroad. 
He raved about everything English, and outwardly conformed to all 
our habits. Au fond he remained as Italian as Concetta. 

One evening every week the Signora Marianna received her 
friends — dark-eyed Italians, who talked at the top of their voices, 
and made the tiny room dim with smoke. They laughed and sang and 
rattled away at the piano, and stared at Christobel with a frank admira- 
tion which made Fortescue furious. He preferred the quiet evenings, 
when, the game over and Marianna appropriately dozing, he could 
look as long as he liked into ChristobeVs lovely eyes. He was very 
happy on these occasions, and yet not entirely so, for in spite of Chris- 
tobeFs gentleness to him, the veil of her strange melancholy was never 
lifted. He was near her, he spoke to her, he loved her more and 
more every day, but he could draw no closer to her in spirit than at 

He hated to think that there was a mystery about her, and yet he 
could not but feel it. He never questioned her, and she rarely spoke 
about herself, only sometimes praising enthusiastically the kindness 
shown her by the Mirandolas. At the first hint from Fortescue of 
love, she shrank so visibly that he dared not again approach the 
subject, but he waited and hoped on with the patient fidelity that was 
characteristic of his nature. 

There was one thing, and one only, in the Mirandolas* treatment of 

her that annoyed him. They allowed her to devote herself, unneces- 

irily, as it seemed to him, to the invisible invalid, that "cousin," who 

134 ChristobeL 

" was slowly dying." Constantly Christobel was summoned to him, 
and would remain so long as to exhaust Fortescue's patience. 

Marianna, guessing, perhaps, his feelings, explained to him that the 
caprices of sick people are many, and that her cousin liked no one to 
be near him so well as Christobel. Fortescue could not be reconciled 
to the thought of her being the slave of a fretful invalid, and told 
himself that the Mirandolas might have relieved her of such a task, 
had they chosen. 

Once he even went so far as to make some observation of the 
kind to Christobel herself, but she checked him at once, saying 
simply : 

** You do not understand. I do nothing but what I like." 

" All this time Fortescue had not mentioned to the Hillyers, or 
even to Verschoyle, that he had discovered Christobel. Instinctively 
he felt that she would prefer his being silent, and the secret was so 
exquisite to him that to divulge it would have been a pain. 

As an excuse for seeing her oftener and for looking at her longer, 
he asked her to let him make a sketch of her head. She consented, 
on condition that the little picture, when finished, should be a present 
to Signor Mirandola on his birthday, and the sittings were in conse- 
quence kept unknown to that gentleman. Sometimes Marianna 
accompanied Christobel to the studio ; sometimes Concetta. As both 
promptly dropped asleep, it would be hard to say which of the two 
made the more delightful chaperone. 

A month had passed in this way, when Mrs. Chisholm, always bent 
on being charming, and having nothing very particular to do, suddenly 
bethought herself that she would visit Fortescue's studio. 

** She did not," as she explained to Geraldine, " suppose that he 
had the least talent," having a way of concluding that people who lose 
money must be insignificant at best, but patronage had its charms for 
her, and she felt that " the poor fellow would be so glad to see them." 
So one day, when out with Geraldine, she suddenly ordered the 
coachman to drive her to Cardigan Gardens, and almost before 
Fortescue had time to say " come in," she followed up her knock by 
putting her fashionably-adorned head inside the sludio-door. 

The apparition delighted Fortescue moderately, more especially as 
he had not time to conceal Christobers portrait, on which Mrs. 
Chisholm pounced at once. 

" What do I see?" she exclaimed. " Dena, look here! How like? 
Flattered, though. Surely not a sketch from memory ? " and she 
turned in rapid interrogation to Fortescue. 

" I have had a few sittings." 

" Then Miss Fane is in London ? But I suppose I must not ask. 
Hum — Is that landscape yours ? — I am no judge — you have not much 
to show — doubtless you have been occupied in many ways. Dena, I 
think we ought to go. Mr. Fortescue may be expecting a model." 

And with the airy impertinence in which she was mistress, Mrs. 

Chrisiobel. 135 

Chisbofan swam from the room. " Do give me Christobel's address/' 
said Geraldine, in a low voice to Fortescue. 

He complied, adding, " I met her accidentally, but I suppose it is 
useless to try and make Mrs. Chisholm believe that." 

1 he widow sat back in her carriage for about a quarter of an hour 
in unbroken silence. Then, finding that Geraldine refrained from all 
remarks, she observed austerely : 

" It is not that I have the least desire or curiosity to see any more 
of such a person, but I confess that had Mr. Fortescue not deliber- 
ately concealed that shameless girl's address, I should have thought 
better of him." 

"He gave it to me as soon as I asked for it," said Geraldine, 
calmly. " It is 14, Glen Isla Mansions." 

Upon which Mrs. Chisholm immediately pulled the check-string 
and ordered the coachman to drive there. 

Christobel was at home, and Geraldine did what she could by the 
sweetness and kindness of her own manner to cover the insolence of 
Mrs. Chisholm. She found Christobel nervous and ill at ease, but 
attributed it to the unwelcome presence of the widow. The latter, on 
her side, noted everything, cross-questioned Marianna when Christobel, 
as usual, was summoned from the room, and drew her own conclusions. 

" A sick cousin of yours ! " she repeated. " An Italian, of course, 
who has taken exclusively to Miss Fane. Very touching, I am sure, 
and very s/range" 

She continued questioning, and Marianna told her several fibs with 
a truly Southern air of candour. She did not resent being interro- 
gated as an Englishwoman would have done, but, all the same, she was 
careful not to let her visitor learn more than was necessary. 

Mrs, Chisholm took her leave at last with great politeness, and 
remained suspiciously amiable all that day and for several days 
following. They communicated their discovery and subsequent visit 
to Verschoyle, who, as Mrs. Chisholm did not fail to remark, appeared 
not at all astonished ; and she surprised a glance between him and 
Mr. Sherlock which set her thinking. 

Since her engagement to Mr. Hillyer, her interest in the inscrut- 
able old Australian had increased enormously. She was very uneasy 
at the interest which, as she fancied, he took in Christobel Fane ; 
and she was determined that it should in no way benefit its object, if 
she could help it. With this laudable purpose, she set herself to 
watch and listen, and one day her patience was rewarded. 

Mr. Sherlock had lately once or twice received a visit from a per- 
son whom he called Mr. Petrie, who greatly excited Mrs. Chisholm's 
curiosity, inasmuch as the conversations between him and the old 
gentleman were very long and apparently very interesting. 

" Could he be Mr. Sherlock's lawyer ? " thought Mrs. Chisholm. ' 
" And was he drawing up a will ? " 

A suspicion so excruciating was not to be borne. 

136 ChristobeL 

Mrs. Chisholm, descending the stairs one day and peeping over the 
banister, saw Mr, Sherlock in the act of ushering out Mr. Petrie. 
They paused at the hall-door, and exchanged a few words. These 
had reference to some previous conversation, but a fragment of the 
phrase which reached the listener's ear struck her with amazement. 
She stealthily crept down a few steps, and, hiding herself in a curve of 
the landing, was fortunate enough to hear a little more. 

Half an hour later she drove off hastily in a cab "to her milUner's," 
as she took care to inform Geraldine. But in that case the milliner 
lived in a very unfashionable neighbourhood, for the four-wheeler 
deposited Mrs. Chisholm at Scotland Yard. 


The next evening Fortescue, going as usual to the Mimndolas', saw 
on arriving that something was amiss. In his quick anxiety for 
Christobel, it was a relief to him to learn that the misfortune which 
had come upon the household had nothing to do with hen 

" It was the poor cousin who was dead," explained Marianna, 
struck painfully, like all Italians, by the coming of the King of Terrors, 
but obviously more scared than grieved. " He died at last quite sud- 
denly — -poveretto — although they had been expecting the end for some 
days. Sad ? Oh, yes ! Death is always that. And then he 
suffered very much, which of course was dreadful to witness. Other- 
wise " Marianna checked herself suddenly — strangely as it 

even seemed to Fortescue — and, with a curious look of compunction, 
she hurried towards Christobel, who noiselessly and slowly had just 
entered the room. 

" Good heavens ! How pale you are ! " exclaimed Fortescue, as 
he, too, went forward and took her listless hand. 

She was indeed deadly pale, and in her eyes was the strained, 
intent look that belongs to strong arid suppressed emotion. 

" This death has been too trying for you. You have had too much 
watching " 

" Hush ! " interrupted Christobel. " The watching was long, but it 
is ended. You must not grudge it to him. You do not under- 

He did not understand ! It was the second time she had used that 
expression. Did all the mystery of her life lie there ? 

She had sunk into a chair, her hands folded in her lap — jxissive — 
silent — ^strangely still. 

Marianna went over to her, and began gently stroking her hair. 
The fondling seemed like an effort at consolation, for it was accom- 
panied by softly murmured epithets of pity, and hints at some future 
in which hope would revive. Fortescue stood dumb ; feeling that he 
ought to go, yet passionately longing to stay. 

Suddenly there was a peal at the bell, then the sound of many 

ChristobcL 137 

voices — ^men's voices in the hall. Concetta, with a scared look, threw 
open the door, and the little room seemed filled with strangers. 

Marianna gave a startled cry. Christobel sprang up, with a set, pallid 
face, but an inexplicable gleam of exultation and defiance in her eyes. 

" Your business ? " asked Fortescue curtly, of the intruders. One 
of them stepped forward and produced a slip of paper. " Our 
business is to arrest George Vandyken — alias Fane — alias Harold 
Fane HiUyer," he said. 

With a swift movement, Christobel traversed the room, and the 
narrow passage beyond, then paused at a closed door. 

" Come ! '' she said, and her tone was so commanding that they all 
obeyed in silence. As they reached the door she threw it open and 
signed to them to enter. They followed her as she approached the 
bed, then stood amazed and awed, when she drew down the sheet 
that covered the face of a corpse. " You cannot touch him," she 
said, with tragic triumph. " You have come too late. And now, will 
you leave me alone with him. He was my father." 

She sank on her knees beside the body and laid her arms across it, 
as though she would still protect him dead whom her limitless devo- 
tion had shielded living. 

They did her behest, and left her alone with her dead. Later, 
when the men of law had left the house, Marianna sent Fortescue 
in to her, saying sadly : " Take her away from there if you can." 

She rose at once when he spoke to her, and stood quietly listening 
to his words. But there was so heart-breaking a stillness about her 
that his own anguish was too strong, and he cried passionately, " My 
dear, do not look at me with those eyes ! Be brave ! Your task is 
ended. Can you not now be at peace ? " 

He stretched his arms out towards her, but she evaded his embrace. 

" It is ended, but not the shame of it," she answered in a low voice 
of intensest pain. " You are kind, but even you are too happy to 
comprehend me, for disgrace has never touched you." 

"But why dwell on such thoughts?" urged Fortescue. "The 
disgrace was not yours. Why should you seek to expiate it ? " 

" Do not try to console me now," she said. " I can think of no- 
thing except that nobody will regret him." 

And with one of the simple pathetic movements habitual to her, 
she laid her hand upon her dead father's brow, as if seeking by the 
unconscious sanctity of her own pure touch to cancel the infamy 
which branded that dishonoured head ! In silence Fortescue quitted 
her presence. Yet he would have given his life to comfort her. 

The next morning a note came for him from Verschoyle, asking 
^ to go to the Hillyers. Guessing that the purpose of it had 
some reference to Christobel, he went there at once. 

He found Mr. Hillyer pacing the room in some excitement. Mr. 
Sherlock, Godfrey, Geraldine and Mrs. Chisholm were present. 

" You have heard the news ? " said \''erschoyle. ** Harold Hillyer 

138 Christobel. 

and Vandyken were one and the same person. He had been in 
hiding at Mirandola's, and when the police went to arrest him last night 
he had just died." 

" What I should like to know," said Mr. Sherlock, after Fortescue 
had signified that the news was none to him, " what I should like to 
know is, who denounced him to the police ? " And he fixed his 
small, inquisitive eyes on Mrs. Chisholm, who turned a lively red. 
But she was equal to the occasion, saying quickly, " The real mystery 
is, how came he to be concealed at the Mirandolas', and what was 
the real tie between himself and Miss Fane ? " 

"You have heard — she was his daughter," said Godfrey. 

"And as to the Mirandolas* share in the business, I can throw 
some light on that," remarked Fortescue. " The Signora Marianna 
told me that some years ago in New York, Vandyken, then at the 
beginning of his prosperity, was singularly kind to her brother and 
herself. They had both been very ill, the climate not agreeing with 
them, and Vandyken gave them money wherewith to come to Europe. 
His daughter, who passed as his niece, was with him at the time, and 
the Mirandolas, knowing her father's equivocal position, pitied her 
profoundly. Mirandola himself, hearing her voice once, told her that 
if she ever left America for Europe, he would be glad to give her 
lessons and enable her to earn her living as a singer." 

" And the resolution on her part to leave New York was greatly 
owing, in the end, to me," add^d Godfrey. " I met her ; like the 
Mirandolas, I pitied her, seeing how she shrank from the vile crew of 
male and female adventurers who surrounded and traded on her uncle, 
or father, as he really was. There was one horrible German Jew, a 
certain Hochheimer (whose letter to Vandyken was found in Clarence 
Dare's pocket), who wished to marry her, and plainly used some power 
he possessed over her father to that purpose. Chance, one evening, 
caused me to find Miss Fane alone. She was so wretched, so helpless 
and friendless that she was led to confide in me. I advised her to 
go to London and accept Mirandola's offer. Through my help, she 
sold some diamonds and other valuables, which Vandyken had given 
her, and with the money thus raised she came to England — to Miran- 
dola's. He gave her lessons, and in a year she began her career as 
a concert-singer. This was abruptly cut short by her introduction to 
Miss Millicent, who took her to live with her " 

" How do you know this ? And how came Miss Millicent to 
make her acquaintance and recognise her identity ? " interrupted Mrs. 
Chisholm, who had been listening to Godfrey's story with an air of 
mingled incredulity and contempt. 

" On the last point Miss Fane herself alone can enlighten us. In 
regard to what she did after her return to England, all my information 
was obtained thanks to Mr. Sherlock," said Verschoyle. 

" Really," said Mrs. Chisholm, " this young woman appears to have 
succeeded in interesting a great number of persons about herself." 

ChrisiobeU 139 

" I was interested in her from the first moment that I saw her," 
said Mr. Sherlock, calmly ignoring the malice of the widow's speech. 
*' I talk so litde that I think I observe more than other people. I 
noticed a resemblance — ^at times very striking — in Miss Fane to Van- 
dyken, and that was the first thing that set me thinking. My cousin 
Millicent's strange agitadon did not appear to me at all explicable 
merely on the hypothesis of her faiUng mind, and this made the second 
link in my chain of suspicion. Finally, when you, Hillyer, were cross- 
questioning Miss Fane as to what happened at the Quarry, I remarked 
what seemed to me like a secret understanding between the young 
lady and Verschoyle. You may remember, Mrs. Chisholm, that you 
had the same idea, and were constantly speaking of it, so I must not 
e3aggerate the merit of my own acuteness." 

Mrs. Chisholm, annoyed, bit her lip, but made no reply ; and Mr. 
Sherlock, with his furtive smile, resumed : 

" I boldly accused Verschoyle of previous acquaintance with Miss 
Fane, and seeing that I was really interested, he owned to it at once. 
But he did not tell me her real identity, for, on her first arrival at the 
Hall, she had bound him to secrecy, and he considered that it was 
the business of the police, and not his, to unravel the mystery sur- 
rounding Vandyken and Clarence Dare. But he told me enough to 
make me more kindly than ever towards the poor girl, and as soon 
as I arrived in London, I set a private detective to work to discover 
▼here she was living. I am fond of surprises, and I had planned one 
which would have reinstated Miss Fane in everybody's good opinion. 
In this I have been foiled through information given to Scotland Yard, 
and the consequent discovery of Vandyken, or rather Harold Hillyer. 
I have an old friend in the police, and by going to him this morning 
I have been able to learn some interesting particulars as to Vandyken's 
intended arrest. They (the police) were thrown off the track in the 
first instance by the delay that ensued before Clarence Dare was 
recognised — that is, discovered not to be Vandyken. This gave the 
latter time to get clear off. He went as far as Calais, shaved off his 
beard, and then did the very cleverest thing he could do in returning 
to London and (presumably) seeking out his daughter. He was, 
perhaps, determined to this by illness, for it seems that for some time 
past he had suffered from disease of the heart. The Mirandolas' was 
the last house where anybody thought of looking for him — and some 
false information further misled the police, in causing them to con- 
clude that Miss Fane had also left the country. But they had cor- 
rected their various mistakes, obtained many particulars from America, 
and were probably within twenty-four hours of discovering Vandyken, 
when somebody told them all they wanted, and their purpose was 
frustrated only by the hand of Death." 

Mr. Sherlock paused, and there ensued an awkward silence. Much 
was still unexplained, and many questions might have been asked, but 
for the various considerations which imposed silence upon everybody. 

140 Christobel. 

Fortunately, a few hours later, a letter which came from Christobel 
cleared up much that was still doubtful. It was addressed to Mr. 
Hillyer, and written with a simple mournfulness that was inexpres- 
sibly touching. 

" My father," she wrote, " married my mother under the name of 
Fane. He shortly afterwards deserted her on the pretext of poverty, 
and we — that is, my mother and I — went to live with her parents on 
a farm in a remote part of Canada. She loved my father passion- 
ately, and would never listen to a word against him. She lived not 
many years, but during that time she taught me to think of him as 
one so sinned against that all blame would have been cruel. My 
grandparents — ^austere, reserved, and stem — did not love me much, 
I think, and they execrated my father's name. I learnt, conse- 
quently, to long for his coming (and my mother had always said he 
would return), as for the advent of a deliverer who would release me 
from bondage. At last he did come — rich apparently, and seem- 
ingly happy. His presence brought joy and gladness to my sombre 
life. My grandfather and grandmother could not, indeed, believe in 
him, but that seemed to me a little thing. They parted with me not 
too reluctantly, and I accompanied my father to New York. On the 
journey he communicated to me that he was known there as Van- 
dyken, and that I should be introduced as his niece. 

" For some reason, as I afterwards found, he had chosen to repre- 
sent himself as unmarried, and explanations at so tardy a date would 
have been inconvenient. The deception involved in all this was 
liateful to me ; it dimmed the brightness of the ideal which I had 
formed in regard to him ; but he was exquisitely kind to me, and I 
loved him still. My life in New York was one long series of humilia- 
tions — one lesson of disappointed faith. I left at last because my 
father wished to force me into a marriage that was hateful to me. I 
came to London and sought out the Mirandolas. I had known 
them in New York, and my father had been kind to them. They 
received me with all the fervour of their warm, grateful hearts. One 
day, to my surprise, I had a visit from Miss Millicent. She had re- 
ceived a letter from my father, written, I think, chiefly with the 
object of obtaining money from her. At the same time he told her 
of my presence in London ; for he hoped, I believe, that acquaintance 
with me might incline her more favourably towards himself. Little 
did he know how fondly, through all these years, she had loved, 
how faithfully trusted, how passionately regretted him ! My own 
diminished affection for him seemed to acquire fresh ardour from 
contact with hers. Her great, consuming grief was that my father 
was angry with her, and, on coming to England, would not see 
her. He had been disappointed at the comparatively small sum 
which she had sent him, and which she had obtained through the 
sale of her jewels and plate. He thought her rich, and the discover)* 
that she had but an annuity had been a great blow. 

ChristobeL 141 

"This letter is. written as a kind of expiation for my coming to 
your house under false pretences, and consequently I will conceal 
nothing. Miss Millicent brought me to Hillyer Hall for a purpose 
which I only divined after I got there : it was to make me acquainted 
with Mr. Sherlock. She had a wild plan, bom of the purpose that 
had marred her life, of inducing Aim eventually to hold out a helping 
hand to her brother, my father, who was constantly impressing upon 
her by letter that his ruin and disgrace were imminent. 

"We neither of us knew, on arriving, that my father was Sir 
Edward Meredyth's guest, for he wrote to me very irregularly, and 
sometimes not for two or three weeks together. 

" I suffered deeply at being introduced to you under a false name, 
but, alas ! I had never borne any other, and I do not think that you 
would have cared to acknowledge me as your niece. Moreover, I had 
been vanquished by Miss Millicent's entreaties. She had a vehement 
intensity of purpose, w^hich I now believe had something of insanity 
in it ; and she was so good to me — ^to me, whom few had cared for. 
As regards Clarence Dare, you know that he came as an emissary 
to my father from a former associate in New York. The latter had 
a great hold over my father, and could have ruined him at any time — 
did really ruin him at the last. I had been slightly acquainted with 
Dare, but that happened to be just before my departure from 
America, and at a time when my father was temporarily absent. I 
consequently, only spoke the truth at the inquest when saying that I 
had never seen them together before the fatal Sunday when Dare met 
his death. 

" I left them as I have already stated at the old Quarry, for I had 
perceived Mrs. Chisholm hovering about, and I had no wish to be 
discovered with them by her. As to all that happened afterwards, I 
must repeat what my father told me. Clarence Dare's death appears 
to have been purely the result of an accident. The news which he 
brought was very, very grave, and necessitated my fiither's immediate 
return to Ix)ndon. He did not know at what hour or in what way 
his enemy might strike him, and he shrank from the idea of exposure 
overtaking him while under Sir Edward's roof. Moreover, he wished 
to escape to Sweden and there to await events. He had barely time 
enough to catch the afternoon express, which started from the station 
at which Dare had descended. Just as he was hurrying away, the 
latter called out to him that he would walk on to the nearest town and 
there pass the night (for my father and he had exchanged some angry 
words, and neither cared to be with the other) only, he added, he must 
be lent some money, for he had lost his purse. 

"My father took out two or three sovereigns and threw them to him. 
They fell into the grass, and Dare went down on his knees to search 
for them. The ground, as you will remember, was found broken ; pre- 
sumably it slipped, and the unfortunate man was carried to the bottom 
of the pit. 

142 Christobel. 

" At Calais my father was attacked with illness and a great longing 
to be with me possessed him. On his way back to London he 
read in the papers of Dare's death and Miss MiUicent's. Weakened 
and unnerved as he already was, and not knowing what revelations 
I might be entrapped into making, it suddenly struck him that 
he might be suspected of having caused Dare's death. Terror- 
stricken at the bare thought, he came to London and threw himself 
on the mercy of the Mirandolas. They guessed, I think, that he 
was dying, and they would not turn him from their door. I joined 
him diere on my arrival, and thanks to the Mirandolas' foreign 
environment, we were able to escape detection — until detection had 
no longer any terrors. 

" This is all I have to tell. To the end of my life I shall think 
gratefully — ^ah ! how gratefully ! of your daughter. But I promise that 
you, not seeking them, will never again have tidings of me." 

This was the end of the letter, and Mr. Hillyer had hardly finished 
reading it aloud, when Geraldine sprang up and hurried to the door. 

** Where are you going ? " asked Mrs. Chisholm. 

" To my cousin," she said simply, and for once Mr. Hillyer had 
nothing to say. 

The two girls met — with infinite pity on Geraldine's part, and grati- 
tude on Christobel's — with whom, however, no entreaties availed to 
induce her to come among her own kinsfolk. 

" There is a gulf set between us," she said. " For all your com- 
passion, I feel that I cannot belong to you in fact, any more than in 

A less generous nature than Geraldine's might have resented such 
an answer, but she understood all its pride, its sorrow, its unavailing 
regret too thoroughly to be moved to any feelings but reverence and 

Slowly, very slowly, Christobel awoke again to gladness. 

It was many months before she would listen to Fortescue's pleading, 
and consent to reward his patient, unchanging love. And although 
profoundly happy at last, she never could be called merry. 

The bells that should chime sweetly of joy and love in the sunny 
springtide of youth had been jangled in her ears so long that some 
painful echo of their harshness dwelt with her always. But Fortes- 
cue, Geraldine, and all who loved her, only loved her the more for the 
subtle mournfulness of which some among them knew the secret, but 
which to strangers seemed like a spiritual crown set on her pure and 
perfect loveliness — ^perchance by an angel, in some hour of hushed 
and holy communing. 



It was a day in last July, 

The hottest day of all, 
The sun smote from the heavy sky, 

A sullen brazen ball. 
The sort of day that makes you think 
Of fields, and cooling things to drink. 

To my mind sunshine tries the slum 

More than the drizzly days ; 
Beyond the actual city's hum 

Stretch out these grimy ways. 
Rank, noxious, pitifully bare, 
Under the searching summer glare. 

A four-year girl marched down the street, 

Most self-possessedly proud ; 
Behind, more curious than discreet, 

Followed an anxious crowd. 
She had a halfpenny to spend, 
And all the gutter must attend. 

The Neapolitan, whose trade 

Plies brisk on days like this. 
Poured the unwilling lemonade 

Guiltless of faintest fizz. 
My little heroine stooped to drink, 
And paused upon the very brink. 

Three pairs of clutching, greedy paws, 

Six eyes that gloat for sips. 
Three noses tilted in applause, 

Six hopefully-licked lips, 
All close behind — the treat must pass 
Round — and returns, an empty glass ! 

My little girl had never heard 

Of Christian self-denial. 
She only gazed, without a word. 

At empty glass and phial, 
And sighed to see there was " no more " — 
An unked thing when one is four ! 

The lemonade flowed after that 
In streams — for I stood treat ; 

And grinning Giulio waves his hat 
Whene'er I cross the street : 

While sure some Angel treasured up 

The record of that emptied cup ! 



By J. E. Panton. 

WHERE the pine trees droop over the side of the cliff, and appear 
as if longing to plunge into the lovely stretch of sea before them, 
is a tiny nook that even in December is a regular sun-trap, and is 
known to everyone in Drayton as the Invalids' Comer. 

It is a sad little comer, for here come those who have but a 
short time to remain among the living, while their nerveless fingers 
clutch nervously at the warm rugs that are wrapped round their 
knees, and whose large eyes gaze ever out to sea, as if they could 
catch a glimpse of the country inhabited by shadows, whither they are 
surely hastening. 

Most of the invalids have relations who come and sit by them, 
anxiously noting each change in the wind, or watching eagerly for the 
first signs of the disappearance of the sun, when they will hurry away 
their charges before the air has time to chill in the very least But, 
perhaps, the hardest cases of all are the isolated invalids, who some- 
how or other seem left to die alone: poor old maids or bachelors 
who cling to an empty existence in the strangest manner, doubdess 
waiting for better days in the way we all, rich and poor, sick and well, 
are apt to do. Fortunately these cases are few and far between, and 
are so piteous that someone or other is generally ready to give their 
sympathy to the solitary invalid ; and often the Invalids' Comer is 
the scene of romances that sometimes end in a happier manner than 
one might expect from their sad surroundings. 

But Francis Priestly — retumed invalided from India, and con- 
demned, as he termed it, to six months' solitary confinement on his 
back in a warmer spot than London — cared for nothing much, save 
his own discomfort. At first he had rebelled openly against his 
doctor's fiat, and said he would rather die than go to Drayton. But 
on Doctor Parkyns saying that in that case he must get another 
medical man to attend him, for he would not, he gave in, and con- 
sented to try the proposed remedy. It would, Dr. Parkyns assured 
him, if he could only leam patience and quiet waiting, end in making 
him quite well. But patience was not known to Francis Priestly. 
All through his life he had suffered from his own precipitancy — he 
had invariably been in a hurry. 

Long ago, he had been engaged to the pretty daughter of the 
rector of the parish where his father's park was situated. But she 
could not leave her father until her next sister was ready to take her 
place at the head of the big, motherless household ; and Francis, 

The Invalid^ $ Corner. 145 

accusing her of not loving him, had dashed away to join his r^ment, 
leaving Edith broken-hearted. He had married, on board ship, the 
pretty, silly, childish wife that had made him miserable for six years, 
and had finally eloped, leaving him with four babies and a ruined 
iife. But she died of fever only a month after, and he had sent the 
children home to his wife's parents, and now was quite alone in the 

He had never felt this before he was ill ; he had always more 
friends than he could count ; and what with one thing and another, 
time had never hung heavily on his hands. But now it was really 
terrible. And, perhaps, the worst part of his illness was the way in 
which all the past eight years seemed to pass in procession before 
him, repeating, as they filed before his waking or sleeping vision : 
" You have brought it all on yourself, you know. If you had only 
waited for the gifts we had for you, you would have been happy, 
prosperous and well ; but you took forcibly what was never meant 
for you, and now you see the consequences." 

He had not a sister, and his father and mother were both dead. 
The family place was his brother's now ; and his sister-in-law, always 
r^arding her husband's younger brothers as so many harpies anxious 
to M upon any stray crumbs that fell from her table, was not likely 
to welcome an invalid, who might want months and months of 
nursing, possibly only to die in the end. A good servant did all he 
could for Major Priestly ; but a servant is not much when that is all 
one has to rely upon for sympathy, conversation, and anything else 
that is wanted to while away the long, weary days and nights of 

It was now December. At Drayton, where the eye rests con- 
tentedly on miles of blue-green fir-trees, whose only difference in 
winter is an added shade of dusk in the distance, there was nothing 
to remind anyone that Christmas was not more than a fortnight off. 
Yet so it was, and Major Priestly felt more melancholy than ever, 
and looked back regretfully to past Christmases at the Manor — 
Christmases when he and Edith had been all in all to each other ; 
they had spent their time in decorating the church, hanging Christ- 
mas-tre^ with ornaments for the Sunday-school children, and in 
keeping the peace between all those who came forward to help them. 

As Major Priestly remembered the date : lying in his long chair 
facing the sea, that literally gleamed like a turquoise under a cloud- 
less sky, with the Isle of Wight rising like a snowy cloud just on the 
left of the horizon, and the chines glittering redly in the sunshine : 
the view seemed to fade, and he saw, instead. Priestly church, and the 
heaps of prickly evergreens, and could smell the various mingled odour 
of damp, crushed leaves and holly-berries, that was always connected in 
his mind with Christmas. Could he not well recollect, too, how he and 
Edith had spent hours on their knees, sticking gorgeous red and blue 
and gold letters on squares of card-board, that, when completed, should 


146 The Invalids' Corner, 

form a text to go round the ugly, dark-brown galleries ? He smiled 
to himself as he remembered how the letters would curl up in a sticky 
festoon on his fingers; how crooked they got; and how, finally, 
when it was really done and duly arranged in heaps in the aisle, ready 
for erection, the old clerk took advantage of their temporary absence 
at luncheon to prepare a surprise for them : had put up the text 
just as the letters came, anyhow, and by the time they had returned, 
had completed sentences that would have defied the cleverest hand 
at solving " buried sentences," that ever won a prize in any society 
journal of the present day. 

Perhaps the thought of old days had somewhat obscured Major 
Priestly's generally acute senses, but he could have declared that he 
heard Edith's voice distinctly as he awoke from his half-dreamy state 
to recognise Drayton, and heard her say : " The other side of the 
chine will be best, Dugald ; then we shall not be in the way of that 
poor gentleman." 

Involuntarily he closed his eyes once more, and lay very quiet. 
Then he opened them again, and saw on his right hand the fair, oval 
face, and waves of brown, soft hair that he could never forget while 
life lasted, as belonging to his lost love. Older a little ; yes, certainly ; 
but otherwise the Edith of eight years ago sat there unchanged. 

The old, old feeling surged over his breast, and he knew in a moment 
that the love he had felt for her was only asleep, and had risen, stronger 
than ever, from its repose, to assert its empire over him once more. 

He watched her carefully, noted the calm, sweet countenance it 
rested him to look at, saw how her dexterous fingers arranged her com- 
panion's chair and rugs in the warmest place, fronting the very pretti- 
est part of the view. And Major Priestly thought testily, how he had 
vainly tried to get Stokes to put his chair in a position that would 
enable him just to catch that reflection of the sun on the gleaming 
sand-banks; and had as vainly told him that his rug would slip 
off him, and leave his feet exposed to the air, if it were not tucked 
under them properly. 

It did not take many hours to make him profoundly abhor Edith's 
companion. He could not make out in the least who he could be. 
None of the brothers' names would return to his mind ; but he felt 
certain had one been named Dugald, he must have remembered 
such an uncommon cognomen. Then the idea flashed into his mind, 
remaining there obstinately: Edith was married, and this long, 
ill-looking invalid was her husband. 

In the meantime Edith had been gazing attentively at Major 
Priestly, and had begun to think in her turn that she was dreaming. 
Since her lover's marriage she had never heard of him. She had had 
an illness, on learning his perfidy, that left her weak for months, 
and after that no one had cared to mention his name before her. 
She knew he had children, but no mention of his wife's elopement 
and subsequent death had ever reached her ears, and she believed 

The Invalids^ Corner. 147 

him to be happy, well and prosperous, several thousand miles from 
the quiet pine-clad shores of Drayton. 

When she recognised him, her first impulse was to rise from her 
seat, and go away anywhere, no matter in what direction, so that it 
led her from his immediate presence. But in a few minutes pride 
came to her aid, and turning to her companion, she offered in a low 
voice to continue reading to him. But Dugald declined her offer ; 
he would rather sit quietly and think, he said. He felt much 
stronger already, and this delicious air gave him new life. If Edith 
would like, why should she not see where the deep-red chine to the 
left led ? Then she could come bacJc to him and tell him all the 
ways of the place. In a few days, perhaps by Christmas, he added, 
hopefully : 

" I shall be able to go with you and verify your description. But 
now leave me, if you like, dear Edith, and I will tell you all that 
happens in your absence." 

But Edith said she felt tired and could not walk that morning; 
and she sat quiedy looking out at the brown-sailed fishing-boats, as 
they glided out, one by one, past the sand-banks, into the open sea, 
in quest of fish. 

Did Major Prfestly remember, as she did, how she and he used 
to make the fisher-boats at home into omens. And, according to the 
number that passed them in a certain time, obtain answers to their 
questions respecting their future? Did he recollect how, the very night 
before their quarrel, he and she had gone to the cliffs beyond the 
Manor; and when he had declared he would let the fisher-boats decide 
their future for him, and the odd number had answered "Yes " to his 
enquiry as to whether she was to go with him to India or not : a 
late boat had crossed the long path of moonlight that led from the 
sea to the sky, and answered " No," at the very moment in which he 
was clasping her in his arms, overjoyed at even the mere idea of her 
giving up her duties at home to go with him ? Nay, he could not 
remember, as she did, every sail on the tiny vessel, as they gleamed 
for a moment like a sheet of silver, and then passed away into shadow. 
Nor could he recollect the scent of the seaweed, and the sound 
of the choir in the church as they practised their carols, wildly 
careless of tune and time, as they took advantage of the choir- 
mistresses absence. If so, he could never have left her as he had 

The eight years had not altered Edith one whit While she was 
still at home, the sister who was to have succeeded her in her duties 
had married, and it was Laura's husband with whom Edith was sitting 
in the Invalids' Corner, taking Laura's place for the present, as Laura's 
baby was only about a fortnight old. How could Edith know that 
Mrs. Priestly was dead, and that the Major's loneliness was due to the 
fact of his being a widower ? How could Major Priestly know that 
Edith's heart was still his, and that one word from him would suffice 

148 The Invalids* Corner. 

to make her stretch out her hands to him and take back the troth he 
had broken so many years ago ? 

As the quick days went on, bringing Christmas nearer and nearer, 
Edith longed to speak. Major Priestly lay there so lonely — ^so very, 
very lonely. No one ever sat by him. No one ever came and 
asked him how he was. Every morning his servant would arrange 
the rug and chair in the same unsatisfactory manner, and after 
turning the newspaper for his master, where only the advertisements 
were visible, notwithstanding strict orders to the contrary, would 
disappear, only to return with the mid-day letters. And again, when 
the sun went down, he would com^ with the white pony that drew 
the chair back again to the hotel, where the Major spent long, sad 
evenings, thinking over the past. 

Every word Edith spoke to her companion, that he occasionally 
overheard, made him more than ever convinced that she was 
married. And, although at times Dugald Scott had tried to b^n a 
conversation with him, when he was left alone, while Edith sought 
for shells or tiny very late, or very, very early flowers, that even at 
Christmas were to be found in the chines. The Major's angry state 
of mind would not allow him to avail himself of these advances, and 
he received them so coldly that even Dugald's good-nature would 
not stand such constant rebuffs, and he soon gave up trying to make 
the Major speak. Ursa Major, Dugald called him ; and Edith would 
often wince at the descriptions her brother-in-law gave of his sulky 
companion ; and more than once she was going to take him into her 
confidence, simply as a means of stopping his heedless talk. But 
the remembrance of the way in which she had been jilted kept her 
silent, and there seemed small chance of the two lonely souls, who 
were longing to forgive and be forgiven, ever speaking to each other 
again : when quite a small thing occurred which might have been a 
tragedy, and only ended, as things ought to end, in wedding-bells. 

The night before Christmas Eve had been terrible. The great north 
wind had risen when the sun set angrily behind the lovely range of 
hills to the right of the Invalids' Corner, and came sighing and moan- 
ing through the pine trees, that presently began to creak and groan 
like the masts of a ship at sea. Then a ragged, grey cloud drifted 
by, and the rain came swirling down through the air : the sea began 
to roar and lash the cliffs, now foaming at their feet, then rolling 
in with an angry howl that could be heard all over the town. And 
in less time than it takes to tell it, the whole atmosphere seemed 
turned into a battle-field, where the wind and the rain fought and 
strove together for mastery. 

The morning broke peacefully, the blue sky, flecked with pufls of 
white cloud, looked like April ; a late thrush sang lustily, and the 
robins seemed as vocal as larks. There was no one at all in the 
Invalids' Comer when the Major's pony arrived there. The damp of 
the night before was rising from the shore and cliffs, under the warm 

Tfie Invalids' Comer. 149 

sunshine, and was drifting out to sea, where the fishing-boats were 
dashing past under the fresh breeze, as if in a huny to make up for 
lost time. 
When the pony was unharnessed, the Major's servant said : 
"I must put you a bit further back, sir. These clifTs are like 
powder, and give directly there's any rain. You might have a nasty 
fail ; for see, sir, the pony's feet have gone right into the mire at the 

And so saying, he pushed the chair back into the pine trees and 
left with the pony, while the Major lay back much inclined to abuse 
everything, from last night's rain and storm to to-day's sunshine, that 
seemed to keep everyone in-doors. 

It was one of those days when everything seems to go wrong at 
once: newspapers were late, owing to Christmas; letters were delayed, 
too; and those that had been delivered were of such a contrary 
nature that they seemed to make everything even worse than was 
necessary. The Major had not slept, owing to the storm ; and in 
consequence of his sleepless night felt so ill that he made up his 
mind he should never walk again, and might as well make his will, 
and leave a world that had become useless to him, and where he 
feJt he had little enjoyment in store for him. 

Then he naturally thought of Christmas, and that aggravated him. 
A lonely Christmas always does aggravate us, somehow. We think 
regretfully of the crowded hearth at home, and the many other 
people who are supposed to be enjoying themselves. There is 
always a great expectation of something marvellously delightful at 
Christmasy what we never quite knew; but we do expect it every 
year, and every year we feel just as disappointed, as we have done 
ever since the death of the days when the delight took form in the 
receipt of a new doll or a top, and too much to eat. 

The Major had worked himself into a state of savage despair over 
his different woes, and was almost weeping for sorrow for himself, 
when he suddenly saw Edith coming towards him. That wretched 
invalid — as the Major termed poor Mr. Scott — ^was not with her, and 
she was walking very slowly, with her mouth set in a determined 
manner that told anyone who knew her that she had made up her 
mind to do a disagreeable duty, and that nothing should deter her 
from doing what she intended. How sweet she looked as she came 
through the straight, red-stemmed pine-trees, through which the blue 
sky gleamed and the white clouds seemed to play at hide-and-seek ! 
Then she came out of the pines, and along the edge of the cliff. In 
one moment the scene had changed. Her foot slipped on the grassy 
pine-needles blown down by the storm, she threw up her hands, and 
disappeared on the edge of the cliff that all at once gave way, and 
crumbling like a piece of sand, turned to go in an avalanche after her. 
The Major forgot his illness, forgot everything, save that he loved 
Edith, and that she was dead ; and jumping up from the couch that 

150 The Invalids* Corner, 

for five months he had never left, except to be carried to his soh or 
bed, dashed forward at once to rescue his darling's remains, or perish 
in the attempt. 

If he lives to a hundred, he will never forget the moments of 
agony he spent before he reached the place where Edith had disap- 
peared, and could look over and see where she was. Every cruel 
word he had ever spoken to her, every syllable of reproach he had 
poured out on her devoted head came back to him, and he could 
almost have shrieked aloud to heaven for help, when he suddenly 
saw Edith's face rising over the cliffs. He stood motionless : then 
he rushed forward and, without one word, drew her hands in his, and 
dragged her forcibly up to a level with him. Then he looked over : 
no harm was done. The soft red earth had crumbled a little and 
slid a short distance down towards the sea, but in so gende a decline 
that a child could not have been hurt in the least, and all Edith had 
had to do, was to turn, and, with small detriment to anything save 
her garments, climb back again to terra firma. 

"Thank God for the landslip!" said the Major, after the first 
explanations were over ; and Edith having heard all his story and 
told hers in return, had consented to take up again her twisted 
threads of life, and make the best of what was left them both. 
"If it had not been for seeing you go over the cliff, I should never 
have spoken to you again." 

" Oh, yes, you would," said Edith as she shyly took his hand in 
hers : " for I could not stand the idea of its being Christmas, and 
you all alone and sad. And when I was coming towards you, I was 
going slowly in order to make up my mind exactly what to call you. 
Frank seemed dead to me ; Major Priestly was not my old friend ; 
and Francis seemed as if I wanted to be severe — ^and I did not I 
only wanted to make you happy, and see the smile I knew so well 
return. I forgot everything, Frank, except that I loved you, and 
that you were in trouble." 

And lifting up her face to his, she gave him the first kiss she had 
given him for eight long, weary years. 

Then suddenly down in the valley, the bells began to ring, and 
the sound came on the breeze through the pine trees, in a measured 

"Good-bye to the Invalids' Corner for me," said the Major. 
" That wretched doctor would have kept me another month on my 
back, but you can see for yourself how well I am." 

And, indeed, when that " wretched invalid " came out to sit in the 
sunshine when the mist had disappeared, expecting to find Edith as 
usual, ready to read to him, he was electrified to see her walking to 
meet him, leaning lovingly on the strong arm of the other habitu^ 
of the Invalids' Corner. 



SOME years ago I stood musing on a balcony overlooking the 
Basse Plante at Pau. I had been spending many months there 
with my uncle, who required change for his health. But he had grown 
gradually weaker, and now was scarcely able to return to England and 
Trevorhurst. The twilight shadows had wrapped the town in night ; 
the afterglow had faded from the lonely west j the mysterious outline 
of the Chateau loomed ghost-like through the fragile screen woven by 
the interlacing trees within the moat ; and still I lingered, till the 
lamps were lighted in the street below — dull globes shining but to 
make darkness visible. Then I turned slowly away. 

Through the window, I saw my Uncle, Lucius Trevor, reclining in 
^an arm-chair before the smouldering logs upon the hearth, with legs 
outstretched and hands clasped over his waistcoat, formmg, with 
thumbs and little fingers, acute angles, north and south. The resem- 
blance to a benevolent gnome was striking, as the flickering light 
danced disrespectfully on his bald head, losing itself in the furrows 
which sprang like gothic arches over his deep-set eyes; but the attitude 
of repose, the flexible, good-humoured lips, now parted in a genial 
smile, flatly contradicted the comparison and left no doubt as to the 
character of the good old gentleman. 

" Fm glad youVe come in," he commenced, as I sat down. " Cyril, 
my boy, what do you think of getting married ? " 

" A proceeding, in the abstract, natural ; in particular, unpleasant," 
I replied. " What has suggested the idea now, sir ? " 

" My old age, Cyril, and failing health," returned my uncle ; " and 
you are the last of our race. It would be a pity to let the family die 
out You ought to marry, Cyril." Up went the eyebrows, and the 
firelight executed a jig on the tip of his nose. 

I groaned. This was an old point of difference between us. I 
could not recognise in his ardent desire to see me settled in life, any 
reason for burdening myself with a companion whose sympathies were 
likely to be at variance with mine. Even the prospect of an heir was 
not sufficient to lessen th^ dislike I had conceived towards all of the 
feminine gender. Allowing that the sentiment was unnatural in a 
young man, it certainly increased in exact proportion to the eagerness 
my uncle showed to provide me with a wife against my inclination. 
Therefore it is not surprising that the impending discussion provoked 
anything but gratitude in me. 

"In my opinion," continued Mr. Trevor, "it isn't good for a young 
man to wander about the world with plenty of money in his pocket, 
and no responsibility to steady him. Why don't you choose a pleasant 
girl to share the cares of Trevorhurst with you, when I am no longer 


152 Cyril Trevor's Wood-Nymph. 

here ? There are as many as one could wish for, even in Pau, my 

" Oh, as many and more ! " was my cynical response. " Only, 
preferring to be married for merit rather than money, I should like 
to know something of the young lady herself, and thanks to folly and 
fashion that feat is well nigh impossible. Can't we let the subject 
drop, sir ? I am thoroughly tired of it" 

" Let it drop ? " said my tormentor, rolling his head round to see 
me better. Then suddenly drawing in his legs, he darted a lean hand 
sideways in my direction as greater emphasis to his meaning, and re- 
commenced : 

" Now, Cyril, just listen. You represent the good of life to me. 1 
took you when your parents died ; reared you as my heir — my son ; 
and you have always been a good lad — ^always. I can't last long — 
you know I can't I grow weaker every day. Do me this fevour. 
This one favour. Promise to look seriously about you while we are 
in Pau. I will not ask you to propose to anyone. No, no ! But to 
please me, to gratify an old man's whim, consider the subject 

" Enough, sir!" I answered, touched by this appeal. " I give you 
my promise. You deserve far more than that from me. I will think 
the matter over carefully, and do my best to meet your wishes." 

" Thank you, my boy ! " exclaimed my uncle, rubbing his hands 
together. " You always were a good lad ; very ! " 

Nevertheless, I was greatly annoyed. 

One afternoon, not many days after the preceding conversation, I 
strolled across the bridge over the Gave, intending to walk off a fit of 
ill-humour incident on meeting three fashionable young ladies in the 
Place Gramont The day was intensely hot ; and in my present state 
of mind shade became absolutely necessary on advancing into the 
country. Luckily a little by-path, seeming to invite investigation, 
enticed me, and taking it, I found it led through a thick plantation, 
which afforded a grateful relief after the dust and glare of the high 

Presendy, emerging from the wood, the ripple of running water 
attracted my attention. Following the sound, I arrived at a group of 
beech trees, and, forcing my way through the underwood, saw a natural 
basin where the stream had collected into a clear pool a few feet deep. 
Around the margin ferns and ivy found their way through moss, bend- 
ing down to admire their grace reflected in the mirror beneath. In 
the centre there jutted up a fragment of rock, clad with greyish lichen 
and a few odd rock-ferns which peeped from the narrow fissures in its 
sides. It was a place for Diana herself to bathe in. 

Throwing myself down, I reclined upon a couch of fallen leaves, 
concealed by the undergrowth, which still permitted me to enjoy the 
peaceful beauty of the scene. My happiness was complete but not 
lasting, for at the moment a sweet voice broke the stillness. 

Cyril Trevors Wood-Nymph. 153 

'* Merrily, merrily shall I live now, 
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough." 

" The nymph of the stream," I murmured. " Here she comes ! " 

CrisAf crackle^ swish ! The brambles on the other side were parted, 
and a young girl stood upon the bank. She seemed about seventeen, 
but well formed for her age. Her feet were concealed by sabots, and 
she wore a short cloak, like that of a French officer, over her dress. 
An old hat, which had slipped back during the struggle with the thorns, 
framed a quaint little face more quaintly still 

" Delicious ! " she exclaimed in English, peering eagerly into the 
green shadows. " How cool the water looks ! Oh, dear ! How tired 
I am, and how hot my head and feet are ! " 

Flinging an armful of ferns on the ground, she seated herself on the 
brink of the fountain, tapping the surface of the water with the point 
of her saboL She was strangely beautiful, but the great soft, brown 
eyes, fixed dreamily on the surface of the pool, would have redeemed 
the most irregular features from the charge of ugliness. 

" I will ! " she suddenly cried. " There is no one here to see, and 
no one anywhere to care." 

I watched her in amused perplexity. The girl pleased me, and the 
wild, graceful freedom of each motion contrasted agreeably with the 
studied elegance of polite society. 

" AVhat a goose I am," she soliloquised, pausing in the act of throw- 
ing off her little sabots, as a slight change of my position rustled the 
leaves of which my couch was composed. " That is the consequence 
of unorthodox amusements. Every leaf that stirs must be construed 
by my guilty conscience into someone looking at me. A pretty sight 
they would see too ! The idea is laughable ! " 

She took off her hat and let loose a mass of dark curly hair, which 
floated about her shoulders in picturesque disorder. Then, lying 
down on the edge of the pool, she stooped over and dipped her face 
in the water, pouring it with her little hands over the top of her head, 
till her curls were dripping like a water spaniel ; then laughing as she' 
wrung out a shower of diamonds. 

At that moment an accident occurred for which I have been thank- 
ful ever since. In casting off the sabots, one had fallen dangerously 
near the edge of the bank, and this, now receiving an impetus from 
its heedless little owner, quietly slipped into the water, commencing 
a joumey on its own account by jogging over the miniature waves 
with most prosaic obstinacy. A cry of dismay followed the discovery. 
What was to be done ? The shoe was already out of reach and how 
could it be recovered ? I laughed silently. All trace of my dislike 
to women had evaporated. I blessed that shoe and waited heart- 
lessly till the sense of loss brought tears into the brown eyes ; then 
sofUy drawing aside the branches, I stood up and spoke. 

''Mademoiselle!" was all I said, though I saw that she was 

154 Cyril Trevor's Wood-Nymph. 

Such a start ! Such a blush ! It rose over her eyebrows ; flooded 
the sun-burned neck ; affected, I verily believe, the tiny feet them- 
selves. Her shyness conquered mine. I longed to set her more at 

" Mademoiselle ! Pardon me. I would not have presumed to 
make my presence known, had it not been for this misfortune," said 
I, respectfully, pointing to the self-constituted boat steadily approach- 
ing the centre. 

The Nymph hid her face. 

" Will you permit me to attempt the rescue ? " I persisted, deter- 
mined to hear her speak. 

" Oh sir, have pity ! I thought I was alone. If you can assist 
me, pray do so ! " she answered, striving to conceal her tears. . 

Poor little thing ! Decidedly that sabot must be obtained. 

" If Mademoiselle would kindly aid me by throwing stones from 
her side, so as to drive the shoe towards the shore," I suggested, 
ignoring her distress. 

Dashing her hand across her eyes, the girl immediately set about 
collecting missiles, which were then flung by my directions — ^at first 
badly ; but, gradually regaining confidence, her aim improved, and, to 
my great joy, forgetting in the excitement all the disagreeable atten- 
dant circumstances, her clear laugh rang through the fragrant air, each 
peal re-echoing within my heart. 

Here was a revelation. In all my life, a perfectly natural girl, at 
the same time perfectly well bred, had never crossed my path. 
Hundreds of pretty damsels had walked, danced, and posed before 
me for the sake of Trevorhurst, but never one whose grace had not 
been cultivated, made to orders whose smile was not a languid 
elongation of the lip. On the other hand the frank abruptness of 
the country lasses was no better ) loud voices from charming women 
jar upon my nerves ; so that between this Scylla and Charybdis, I be- 
came a man whose books and horses represented to him the only 
pleasures in life. Now, to upset these crude ideas, came a maiden, 
with bare feet gleaming through the moss, over whose entire person 
sweet modesty had thrown her veil If but the mind equalled the 
appearance in simplicity, my uncle's wish would not seem so hard to 

Meanwhile, the would-be boat drifted nearer to the land, and 
having by means of a long stick obtained possession of it, I dried 
it in my handkerchief before surrendering it to the owner, who dared 
not raise her eyes to aid her faltering thanks. Feigning not to obser\'e 
how the sabots were resumed, I occupied myself in gathering up the 
ferns strewn upon the bank, talking incessantly. I told her how the 
autumn tints had charmed me, so that town life faded into insignifi- 
cance before the freedom of the uplands, and as I praised, a bond of 
sympathy sprang up between us, and we chattered like two old 
familiar friends. 

Cyril Trevor's Wood-Nymph. 155 

" Are you an artist ?" she asked at length. " I am quite sure that you 
are English. Besides, you are too— courteous — for a Frenchman." 

I laughed " Thank you. No, I am no artist, except so far as 
appreciation of beauty can make one. I am — a student of human 
nature, at present intent on becoming acquainted with the neighbour- 
hood of Pau from a different standpoint to that of the ordinary visitor. 
Will you help me ? " 

My companion smiled, complying by describing favourite nooks, 
hidden, like this fairy pond, from prying curiosity. Leading her on 
to speak of herself, I learned that her name was Beatrice Ross, that 
she lived with her father in a villa on the Goteaux, with no other 
companion than an old housekeeper. Sometimes her only sister came 
from Pau, where she resided with an aunt, to visit her, but these 
events were comparatively rare. To our mutual delight, in this sister 
was a pretext found for our acquaintance. I had often met her at 
parties, and she had described me to Beatrice as a *' woman-hater, 
but immensely rich." 

" I don't know why she called you that," said my Nymph, doubt- 
fully. "You are not unkind to me, but quite the reverse." 

"Never judge a man by what you hear," returned I, gravely. 
" Man is a many-sided animal ; gentle to those who treat him well, 
the opposite when badly managed. He must be humoured. Miss 
Beatrice. But are you never lonely, separated so much from all 
society ? Do you never wish to be with your sister ? " 

"No," she answered, quickly. " I am quite happy as I am. Now 
and then I long to see the beauties of other lands, but that cannot 
be. And, after all, though nature may look otherwise, she cannot be 
more beautiful than here." 

" You are right," said I ; " there may be difference in kind but not 
of degree." 

" So I believe. People often say the Coteaux are disappointing, the 
Pyrenees not to be compared to other mighty ranges, but the fault, it 
seems to me, is theirs. If you come to nature," she continued, wav- 
ing a little hand to illustrate her meaning, " with a fixed idea, there 
must be a hill here, a fountain there, icebergs glittering in the sunlight 
yonder, and moss-grown ruins where I stand ; of course, one will not 
always find them. But come to the great earth-mother saying, ' Show 
me what thou wilt ! ' And what loveliness she then unfolds ! The 
morning sky of palest yellow, darkest indigo, and clearest rose, so 
shaded as to be a miracle ; no harsh discord, but all a blending 
harmony ; the pure air shaking the dew-drops off the trembling grass ; 
the melody of fifty different birds, and the solemn tremor of the forest 
trees. At midday, the deep hush of sleep— only the cicala to make 
the silence felt At night, the glorious stars and peaceful slumber of 
the woodlands. Never twice the same ! " 

As she stood, with hands clasped over the ferns, her eyes, shin- 
ing with a strange light, fixed on the quivering beeches, I almost 

156 Cyril Trevor's Wood-Nymph. 

fancied that she saw the earth-mother herself, beckoning from the dim 
recesses of the whispering shadows, and that, like some heroine of 
German folk-lore, she was fast losing the consciousness of mortality 
under the influence of a mystic charm : when unhappily the snap of 
a dry twig aroused her, and with a gentle dignity she bade me fkre- 

" We shall meet again ? " I asked, detaining her hand. 

" Who can tell ? " was the reply, as pushing aside the brambles, with 
a merry laugh, the wood-nymph vanished out of sight. 

I wanted to follow but dared not, retracing instead, the dusty way 
to Pau, oppressed by a strange sensation of loss, and dizzy with new 
ideas. Oh, child ! — ^yet no child, but woman in all the depth and tender- 
ness of unsophisticated wisdom — who could have told but yesternight 
thy lot and mme were interwoven in the weft of time ? Ah, that it 
may not prove a passing golden thread, glittering against the darkness 
of a lonely life, but that the two may twine together all through the 
years the future holds concealed ! 

It was not difficult to interest my uncle in the adventure. The 
elder Miss Ross had impressed him favourably by her beauty and 
accomplishments, but he fully approved of my winning a wife whose 
youthful mind could readily adapt itself to her husband's views and 
customs. However well Miss Ross might play the lady of the Manor, 
her younger sister would probably be a better match for me. Then 
the question arose, how to gain Mr. Ross's consent? Plainly the 

road to the Villa lay through his sister Madame B 's drawing-room. 

My uncle, therefore, proposed calling on her, stating my wishes to see 
more of her niece, and enlisting her sympathies on my behalf. As 
the plan seemed feasible, I consented gladly, promising to await the 
issue with all the patience at my command. 

Weeks passed on without visible result My uncle only re- 
sponded to my importunities by mysterious nods, or more exasperat- 
ing proverbs. I wandered all over the country in the hope of meeting 
Beatrice, returning at close of day more despondent than ever. I 
haunted the pool, but though the sun-elves played upon the surface, 
no girlish figure came through the brambles, no sweet voice sang the 
praises of the wood. Granted that all my attempts began and ended 
in folly — what will not a man do when he is in love ? I grew dis- 
contented and peevish, and augmented my private woes by anxiety 
about my uncle's health, he having caught a cold which he seemed 
unable to shake off. We did not talk much in those days, we were 
not sociable companions, he sat on one side of the fire, rolling his 
head and coughing; I sat on the other, responding by impatient sighs. 

One evening, on coming home in a more dejected mood than 
usual, I was greeted with a volley of chuckles that must have been 
the death of any other man. 

" You seem merry, sir," I remarked crossly, throwing down my hat. 

" Very merry ! " he replied, rolling his head fearfully. " I think 

Cyril Trevor's Wood-Nymph. 157 

70U need change of air, Cyril. We'll go to Mentone or Rome. They 
say the climate is more exhilarating and quite as mild as this. What 
do you say to it ? " 

" Tm well enough, sir. But all places are alike to me, and I'm 
quite ready to accompany you anywhere." 

" A very proper frame of mind," he chuckled, gathering his legs up 
sharply and shooting them out again with equal rapidity. " Very good ! 

Then we'll be off next week. By-the-bye, Madame B has a party 

to-night, as you know. She wanted me to go, but I said the night air 
was too great a risk, and told her I'd send you instead. You'll look 
m^ my boy ? " 

" Certainly, if you promised, sir," I answered, morosely. " But 
frankly, I wish you had not done so. I am in no humour for frivolity 
just now." 

"Quite right," coughed my uncle, satirically. "At your ad- 
vanced age you ought to have done with frivolity. But you'll go, 
Cyril ? " 

Accordingly, about half-past eight I presented myself at Madame 

B ^'s. The rooms were full, and, as I paused on the threshold, if 

my face betrayed my secret feelings, its expression must have been 
exceedingly ungracious. Madame, however, welcomed me kindly, 
and after a few words, said : 

" You have met my niece before, I understand. Perhaps, however, 
2 more formal introduction would not be out of place. Beatrice, my 
dear, allow me to present to you Mr. Cyril Trevor." 

My head reeled, my heart stopped as, in the radiant being before 
me, I recognised my long-lost wood nymph. 

It is impossible to recal what followed. Everything was enveloped 
in a rosy haze of blissful incredulity. When I recovered somewhat 
we were sitting together in a distant part of the room, screened from 
the public gaze by rows of plants, from which I conclude, that even 
at that trying moment, my native common-sense had not entirely 
deserted me. 

The time passed with terrible rapidity. Beatrice told me that her 
lunt had come a few days since to the Villa, and after a long conver- 
sation with Mr. Ross, had carried her off to Pau. Making good use 
of my time, a bond of sympathy was binding us very closely together 
when Madame at last broke in upon our solitude. 

" Really, Mr. Trevor, I cannot permit you to monopolise my niece 
ill the evening. You may call to-morrow if you like, but I must 
separate you now. Beatrice, Miss Lucy wishes to speak to you about 
Lady C.'s ball Are you going, Mr. Trevor ? " 

"I had not intended accepting the invitation on account of my 
uncle's health," I replied ; " but if Miss Ross will favour me with her 
^d " I stopped and looked at Beatrice. 

" I am not a good dancer," she said, blushing. " You will be 
Sony for having asked me, afterwards." 

158 Cyril Trevor's Wood-Nymph. 

" Never ! " I cried, fervently. " Grant my request, and I shall be 
happy for hfe." 

Madame laughed heartily at my ardour, and having obtained the 
desired promise, I took my leave. 

" Ho ! ho ! " chuckled my uncle, when I reappeared in his room. 
" Shall we go to Rome next week, Cyril ? Do you want bracing 
now, my boy ? " 

" The wind has changed, sir," I answered, gravely. " The journey 
will scarcely be necessary on my account. Had you any idea that 
Miss Ross would be at her aunt's to-night, sir ? " I enquired. 

" Of course I had," chuckled my uncle. " I arranged the whole 

affair. Got Madame B to drive with me to the villa one 'day, 

and had a chat with Mr. Ross. The long and short of it is that I 
obtained his consent to your marriage with his daughter, provided he 
incurred no trouble or expense in the matter. A selfish old man, 
Cyril. You do well to take the girl away from his influence. But, 
my boy," he added, wistfully, " you must have the wedding soon. I 
can't last much longer." 

" Don't, sir, for pity's sake, say so. You'll live for many a long year 
yet, please God," said I, brokenly. 

" Ah, no ! My time is almost run," he answered, sadly. " And 
I should like to see you settled first" 

I took advantage of Madame B 's complaisance, with the result 

of falling daily deeper in love. Beatrice completely won my uncle's 
heart, and it was very pretty to see her tender solicitude for him. In 
due course the day of the ball arrived, and I sent Beatrice a bouquet 
and wreath of flowers, but as yet I hdd not dared mention the 
wedding-day. My uncle had been far from well that day, and towards 
evening alarming symptoms began to appear. He was very anxious 
that I should go, however, declaring that he should rest more easily when 
he knew his dearest hopes were consummated and I was actually 
married ; and grew so excited on perceiving my reluctance to obey, 
that at last 1 left the room, pledged to redeem my promise to him 
before returning home. 

Determining only to explain my uncle's danger to Beatrice, and 
carry back from her a single word for him, I searched the crowded 

rooms and corridors of Lady C. 's villa, and at length found 

her seated in the conservatory, screened by large flowering plants 
from observation, the very embodiment of melancholy. On seeing 
me she sprang up hurriedly, a vivid flush dyeing her lovely features 
It was not difficult to guess who was the object of her contempla- 

" Cyril ! I thought you would never come ! I even heard some 
one mention that your uncle was worse, and you would most pro- 
bably not be able to leave him." 

" And was this the cause of your sadness, Beatrice ? " 

She blushed and looked down, with all the charm of modesty 

Cyril Trevor's Wood-Nymph. 159 

that had captivated me that very first day I had seen her at the pool. 
This innate modesty was part of her nature, inseparable as herself, as 
exquisite as, alas, it has become rare. 

Then I told her that my uncle was indeed worse, and thought 
his end approaching. I added that his only remaining wish on earth 
was our marriage, and begged Beatrice to name the day. At first 
she was pale and agitated ; but with all her modesty and simplicity 
there was such an absence of coquetry about her that before many 
minutes were over she had given me the required promise, and named 
the day. Then, together, with as much happiness in our hearts 
probably as was ever given to mortal, we went in search of Madame 

That good lady was not surprised at the news we brought ; but 
while congratulating me, joined with Beatrice in urging my departure, 
as my uncle must require my immediate care. In truth, my own 
eagerness was great to hasten back to him. I bade them both fare- 
well. The servant met me at the door. 

" Mr. Trevor is worse, sir," was the news that greeted me. " We 
were going to send for you. The doctor says there is little hope." 

I ran upstairs to his room. The dear old gentleman was strug- 
gling hard for breath ; but he smiled and tried to speak as I leaned 
over the bed. 

" It is all right, uncle," I said, softly. " Beatrice has promised to 
be mine in a month from to-day, but sent me back to you the 
moment she heard of your illness." 

He pressed my hand feebly in reply. All through the sorrowful 
night I sat beside him, distressed at the sight of his sufferings, 
which he bore so patiently. Towards morning the struggle 
abated, and he fell into a semi-stupor. How strange life seemed to 
me during the long hours of that watch ! From a sick-bed to a ball; 
from a proposal to a death ! How every act of loving kindness came 
back to me, as I recalled the years we had spent together, with never 
an unkind word to mar the memory of the tenderness bestowed on 
me. And now — just as the great wish of his heart — the only one I 
had ever evinced reluctance to fulfil was about to be gratified — he 
might not see the consummation of his hopes ! How often it is thus 
in life ! 

When the dawn was shining clearly through the curtains he raised 
himself with my assistance, and, widi the ghost of his old quaint 
smile, he whispered : 

" So you're going to be married at last, Cyril, and the old man 
has not a wish on earth unfulfilled. Farewell, my boy ; you have 
ever been as a son to me, the one bright spot in a lonely life. 
God bless you, and make you happy ! Good-bye, Cyril. Some 
day we shall wish each other good morning in a happier clime." 

Then he fell back as if to sleep — but it was the last long sleep 
that knows no waking. 

i6o Cyril Trevor's Wood-Nymph. 

A few weeks afterwards there was a very quiet wedding in Pau. 
I was obliged to return to England, and could not bear to leave my 
wife behind, so the trousseau was curtailed, and Beatrice came with 
me to disperse the gloom of Trevorhurst Years have passed since 
then, years full of quiet happiness seldom broken by storms ; and 
never once have I regretted meeting my fate among the beeches. 
The mists are again stealing up the hillsides, as I stand on the same 
balcony on which this tale commences, looking over the same scene. 
The sun is once more declining in the west — ^the Pyrenees seem far, 
and dim, and cold — too grand to heed the sighing of the breeze that 
comes from them to me. But they cannot chill the memories that 
bind us to the past, nor freeze the mingled joy and sadness of those 
days, when the dear old man, who loved us both, plotted and planned 
the welfare of my wood-nymph and mysel£ 


Ah, Love ! you droop your eyes — ^and night 

Hath shadowed all the way. 
You raise the lids — and oh, how bright 

Doth shine again the day ! 

Oh, Love 1 your cheek is pale — ^my heart 

Is chill as icy rain. 
You blush — ^and lo ! how quick will start 

The blood thro* nerve and vein. 

Ah, Love ! you're silent — ^and the land 

Is echoless and still. 
You speak — ^and ever vast and grand 

Pours out the song-bird's trill. 

Oh, Love ! if such the power you wield 

On lips, and ear, and heart, 
In truth, let pity be my shield 

So we may never part ! 

A- E. G. 



The ruMie Verdict ia that they are Unequalled for 


Pmcb from o^'"" 

£4 4s. Od. 5,850,000 




par 2/6 Week, ANNUAI. SALES 

Wiih Option of Purchase. excbbd 

— 600,000 . 

Intintetion free. to -*boW i>m»pHim, boy do 

• Michins unleu Ibe Compuiy'i 

Tndg Name— " SINOEA." it 

PBICE LISTS GRATIS. upoo <i» A.m. 


Management for United Kingdom, 39, FOSTER LANE, CHEAPSIDE. E.G. 

And ^oj Braiukti tkronglumt G nat Britain and InSamd. 

Goodall's H ousehold Specialities. 


TAa most D^icioua Sauce in the World. 

Maliea ths daintiest Disha more delicioua. 
Bottles, ed., la., and 2a. eacb. 


The only aubsHtuU for Eggs yet discovered. 

One Sutpeoay Tin will go u £ar as Twenty Egg*. 

Sold in Id. Packets ; ed. and Is. Tins. 


Makes IMieious Custards uHthout Eggs, and at Half-price. 

In Boxes, 6d. and la. each. 

Proprietors: QOODALL. BACKHOUSE & CO., Leeds. 

For 100 excellent and palatable HOUSEHOLD RECIPES 

WHte to 60ODALL, BACKHOUSE S CO., Leeds, 

\aj Stamp for postaeo, when yon ' 
vxaA in cloth, and full]' illustrated, c 
n Every home and Household. 









JAMES EPPS & CO., Homoeopathic Ohemista. 

Pears' Soap 

Recommended (in the yoitrnat of Cutaneous A 
Medicine) by Prof. SIB ERASMUS WILSON, 
IjXi.D., F.B.S., President of tlie Boyal College 
of Surgeons, Eng. 




TUCCC Ar* of Um highest QUALITY. 
inCoC Are lupplied al Iha WKOLBSAU 


Prieeti 1 1Q "> 5/- P"'*' 


Wrili for Sampla ami anitrass with mj Mm. 


44, Lord Street. UVEHPOOL ' 
'•Thi Clean B/aoh Lead. "—vide Pim 

"OlTM BmlrTar-UlMRiifuetotkaKnU.tBdtiir 
oleuiUnMi tui MMnomy uojvli aU ousn.'— VLli 
Lmly'i Picierial. 

for 3^1 


ALFKSS BIKD ft SOHB, BlrmiB|lum, i>UI miiiI, 
rosT F»i, OS Tecei[>t oi iddreii. ihe New ud 
Eolareed Edltiao of " PASTBT AMD SWEETS," i 
littlf WDik cDiituiiiBa Prudul Hiali and Oiifilia] 
Raclpn for Tutr Diibu for tbe DioBSt udSuppcr 

t' oaDm AHD CO, nuHtui 




e of rhou t 



Mo^ifeedfill to ™ ke^^S™?'! "hLi"""R«om- | Vj requixUe, tcith 1 

In BoiM, price 7W.. "■ ■W..iioiI 21. oj . bi O 1 ^^^B^d^ •>•>•«.__ _ — l 
jmLPTOH * SOh, i Or»n. Court, nMl sJ«t, I 'fW*'^ HANGER BRl 

S^nt«' Sn(.;T.°a//c"m''».""''" " ■'<■"" I ^f Qoldlc, Settle, Vortt 


Hlgbnt AWB^ PUlidelpUi, isrs Sou IfHal, Bnlln. MTI, 

Bl|h«n Awsid, U&boiuiM, 18S1. eighwt Awam ud onlT Mwlal Fi 

HlC^*" Awud aia <£]} Madal, Amitsrdui. 1S8S. ' 

Pnl OB bj Sponge aiuebed 10 Wire and Cork in eich BoiUe. No Polish^.! . 

' required. Dries in 1 few minnlei. Cin be used by my Ijdy wiihoul n^at bu fil 

Tbe SttlH Polish i> Ibe most Elcgmt Article of ttae kind evEt prodaceil, I 

»od Lusiie, and will noI soil the sLirtinrhen wet, Tarnishtid Patent Leailier b"" wori 


F%'^Lf "on'indVii;y''wo?k1ie"e"'ily'!*« ^IJ « fof^u^' sbo^"""* "^ 
Kipt 6y eU Whotcialt Hmaa soul otlfinMa,, Bool a^ Sfue Slorn and 
... ^____^ — ■- "» Uxil'd Kintda^. 



is the best Tooth Powder; whitens the teeth :k 
prevents decay ; contains no acid or gritty sul 
stances. Avoid worthless imitations, and buy oni 
Rowlands' Odonto, 

Sold ererj/ivhcrc. 






Aur 1».firBoU!t at all Chimisli .or fncty 
T. KSATHO, Cksmiit, St yml't.London. 



Important notice, — in conxequence of the unprecBdented demand Tor thaucbarmingNew 
Song! from all parti of the World, and owing to the large number of orden on hand, the Publishers 
were compelled to print the enormoas and imprscedented flnt XdiUoa of &0,000 Ooplei. 

FAIRY TALES, by a. h. behrend. 


MANY A MILE AWAY, by pinsuti 

FIRST IN THE FIELD, by bonheur 

Keys for all Voices. 24 Stamps each. Of all Musicsellers in the 
World, or from the Publishers. Extensive New Lists post fret. 


269, Regent Street, W., & 70, Upper Street, N. 

Cr,lully DudD fro. 



T.«dJet w* tBpKiruDy LavUhI ro wrin for rh» t«4uEirurC.^I- 
lecBon or Plllntorf »(S»D«MI» MM* FAWUta l..r 11,,, 




Dran and nannet Wanhonie. Stratford Boad. 



HCTDSOira EZTHAOT OF soap, »oi/ipc Blf 
risk of CDDtasioa »ilh ia(«IBd clolhine it Laon- 
driM, or wh*re the washing li pui dm. No 

freely, toTiem water. A per^ Ha^d-walC 
Soap, a Cold-water Soap, a Sofl-water Soap, 
a Hal-water Soap, Unrivalled as a pDriIrln>| 
agcDI. So<d ntrj-ahm, in Packeli, One VKBOy 


ttuUr nliava and cum Scnra Sculili, 
BuRii, Spniot, Bmlui, Toothmche, Head- 
•ehe, t>>{ai in Side, Joiou, iliuI Limb., ntl 
NtunUpe HDd Rheumatic Pidoa. Taken 
laUrnally cnm at snca Couvha Sudden 
Colda, Cramp ia the StemMfi, Colic. Di. 
»r™™i "" Cholera Infaaium. PAIN 
KILLKR 1. the ptunt Kouaclieid Mtdc 
sine, ud affordi relief oot to b* obtained br 
nbai remediei. ItbarmooiMiiha Nervouaand 
Circalalioi Sjltema of ibe Bodr, diapeli Iba 

Ubie remadr for Internal and Eiternal uaa 
and ia alwaji) pirficUjt u/t In iba handi of tvta 
the mail loeiparleDcad peraoni. It lupeiiadei 
the DM of dkncHDua Narcolle and Anodrne 
Bamediei. Angicbemliicui igppliii at il iLl 
■■^."b *^P" ^''''- C*[«>. 48. Holborn 


""k S7miJlomaotD7,p.p.i. 

■ SScUiAd "-''^-- "■ 

I "Tl^Ilttla 

■ peali/irciU^ 

g to decide cverjthina for 

lasH a longtime. Price u,«d. SoldeveryKhi 
Pepot, t6,Ho1bom ViiduA, London, LC. 




Ibni writea raapaaing an imerriew >iili 
Mlow-(Dlbr*i from Aathma. we had arij 

plaint which bilbacto had biScd the Kiemd 
(he world, ibonih Amarica moat haia ihe cndii 
of tho diacorerj of the beat paUiatif* 1 knoa, 
Wi.. 'Himrod'a Aatbma Powder.' bVM tU 
faaa of which I ban Inntdablr derlnd iba 
■reaieii ponible relict Some Tean an 1 on 
11 la Dr. korreU UaciiMaie.of Londoo, wbo bM 
found li o( Inaaiiinable valoa to iDleran fnn 
that palnfol oialadr ban. I have tri^ neiT 
r«ni«dTanriBvaBiBd.aiidHIIf ROD'S CUKE 
!• the onl; ooa la which ) ban abuiote not- 
fidanco." IllilmpsnanttoobiemtbaiHIII- 
ROD'S CU RE wai emploTsd under ibt hiEbcn 
medical lanakni in Iba caaa of ibe lateEAEL OF 
BEACONSPIBLD. i«ei»uu.uf 

DirtcUona for Uae>-A8THMA.-Bt>m 1 
balf-leuiioonrul npoa ■ plalo, or In the coftrsl 
Iha box. Draw the fume* well bto tlHlBnp 
Ibrouirh Ihe mODIh, reuiaing Ihcm ■• 1»( m 
pouible. and allowinx iham te aacapa Ihroaik 

balf-hourly. HIMRoB=8(;URE,, 
or Ppil Free. 4L jd. JOHN M. RfcHARD'S, 
fe, Holborn Viadua. LtnJon, E.C 


~ Topredlafoan 
-!0U of hia life 

Gradual, Wataral, _ „ 

ud laalma Ladiaf T1ilririran''hat^"ll' 
ne MAQKOUA BALS mAf tbt 8Ma Saeotk 
and pMTljr, aad IbduU ■ Vntk umtmutt I* 
"-• CoaatraaHa. llHraiii>i ■acaolla Balm hia 
en Entabll^ed nearir Wttmn. Bafaal 
unolla Bala m baohtalatd of aUCbeailiU. 
PerraiKPnt, and Stotff, or Mnt t« aar addrna 
:elpl of 8b. Sd. Depot, ;. fian Hill, 



The Rev. F. A. VINCENT, B.D. 

Rector of Elstead, Tray ford, &c, 


"I shall be glad to reply, at my own expense, to all enquiries as to the effect 
of the invaluable remedy, Tikheel. 


1 derived benefit I never could have anticipated, after suffering many years of 
a^oy. I had in vain tried all specifics known, as well as consulting physicians. 
I hope this testimonial, if it will not requite you, will at least exhibit my grati- 



(Price 28. 6d. 

of aU 

CUBES Toothache, Neuralgia, Facesiche, Tic, 
and Nervous and Sick Headache. 


The New Discovery : TIKHEEL. — One Dose of which will rapidly remove 
fte terrible pains arising firom Neuralgia in the Head, Faceache, and Toothache 
Itven when proceeding from a decayed tooth), rendering extraction unnecessary. 
Ilis absolutely free from Morphia* Opium, or any preparation of the kind, and it 
|i confidently recommended to the public as a most valuable medicine for safely, / 
jpeedily, and eertainly curing one of the most common but painful classes of 
bease. It is sot pretended to be a cure for every ache and pain, but a positive i 
tod scientific mode of relieving Neuralgia in the Head, Face and Teeth, popularly \ 
Down as *'Tic/' Tikheel at once removes the Toothache to which Females are 
it limes snbject. 

SM hy all ChmisU and PaUni Medicine Vendors at 2fl. 6<L 
PiRCEts Post Freb for 28. 9d. in Stamps, or P.O.O. from the Manufitcturers, 





For Cbildren Catting IbeirTMIb.lop»vciilCan>nljioD< 

Thk But Rihedy to Cuu au. 

Sold io Bdi«. nil. liquid B.srf.. wiihdir. c- 
lioM. Senl post-fieo (ot 15 Stuapi. Uircci 10 
Alpud FcHHiHas, Wat Conci. I.W. 

u guulUy 0/ tit » 

Read Fsnnlii^' Svo^ Mathar'i Book, wfaicb con- - Read FKUdi 
SLScriHO. ttc. AikrODI CliciBii'lIora^Heap)'. ' Covei, I'.W. 


AMTi-DvMEFric Coco*, OR Chocolate Powbi*. 


Four limu ths itiniglb of prepinlioiii Ibickened >al weikensd with airowral. 
-cfa, Ac, *iid in rtalitj chuper tbui loch miiiurn. 

A leupoonfuL to 11 Brcak f ai t cap^ coitioc Len *^*^ a Hal^flWiT- 
iiA « u VAHiLLiitlbemoatdalicaH.dliiutible.cheipatVaiuUaCliocalaK, 
and maji ba ukan itbeo cicher Chocolate it probibiled. 
Sold1>7 all CbgmiiU aodGiocin. in air-iigbt linj. u 11. td., ji., ji. id.. Ac 



« pnBcribnd IL'—UlJiiaJ t*IIl. 



Alwin I 

illsviaio m 

I frcqucDilr Core A>U 
■-«. Citmitlt, la. axil - 

Ii produced bx 


1 delicacy of CompteiicA 

belllhr ■< 



icidcDliI !□ FEHALl^S. 

ic IbeTwii; be found invaJoable ii 





Of all the occa{>ations of leisure, the business 
d Scrap Colleotion and Scrap adornment 
IS the most simple, elegant, useful, and interest- 
:r.^ vhether for nude or female, young, middle* 
agrd, or old. 

To the young the 


IS an endless source of a delightful occupation 
and distinctly a means of an encouraging and 
developing aspiration to Art Study. 

hide in a well'filled and well-arranged Scrap 
Boc£ is a most enusable interest 

Who shall tell of the glories of 

Xcae bat those who have engaged in this re- 
cTtriuon can have but the faintest idea of the 
p.casaiit and profitable hours to be found in the 
piiisuit of this fascinating employment I 

Materfamilias rejoices in an elegant Scrap 
Screen as an almost indispensable piece of 

P&teriamilias rejoices in the same elegant 
Scrap Screen as the practical and artistic out- 
cj-e of much enjoyable home work. 

We have much pleasure in stating that we 
have this season made arrangements for the 
i-oply of Scraps at prices which will, we believe. 

Astonish the World of Scrap Workers. 

We will sell 

One Million Sheets of Scraps 

at 6d. (7 stamps) a packet, which is practically 

Giving them Away ! 

These we intend simply as sample packets, 
each packet will contain not less than 20 sheets 
or upwards of 

200 Subjects for 6d. (7 Stamps only). 

We also sell sample packets atlS. (13 stamps) 
containing 40 sheets or upwards of 400 pieces. 

Also sample packets at 28. (25 stamps) con- 
taining the most varied assortment of Scraps, 
all of which are of superior quality ; and for 
28. 6d. (31 stamps) a sample parcel of the 
choicest specimens of Scrap Art carefully se- 
lected from die best makers and of surpassing 
value, and as 

A last grand offer, for 5b. we will send the 
whole of the above sample parcels together 
making a complete parcel such as we believe 
could not be purchased at less than £1 at any 
retail house in the world. 

NoTiCB.— Send us 7 stamps for a 6d, parcel, 
and you will be so pleased with it, that we feel 
confident you will patronise us again, and re- 
commend us to your friends. Of course we 
return the money if we do not give satisfaction. 


25. Wormwood Street, Bishopsgate, Ijondon. E.O. M. GRACE, Secretary. 




Fan Haiic Sise ; on good Paper ; strictly Correct. 5., Song; S. S., Sacred Song ; P.F., Pianoforte Piece. 

Ul he Kissed me, s. I 

is Pants the Hart, s. s. 1 
iathor's Weighed, s. 
Jlce Darrabe Waltr. *. /. 
tcebeUs of Scotland, 
TitJ variations, p. /• 
^■e Mahone, s. 
-ccie Dundee, s. 
'^.a of Allan Water, s. 
i^er Herring, 5, 
^^nj Ripe s. 
ofk Lez. s, 
toine Bcils, «. 

■WOBJan Qnadrillcs^.^. 
e^icolo Galop, p. f. 
■^^n by the Riverside, ». 

ith of Cock Robin, *. 

-S of Nelson, s. 

'?ty Cradle, ». 

Fairy Wedding Walts. 
Far Away, *, 
Fire in the Grate, s. 
First Violet, s. 
Gipsy's Warning, s. 
Good Old Teff, $. 
Goardlan Angel, s. 
Grandfather's Clock, i. 
Gloria, from 12th Mass. 
Hearts of Oak, s. 
Home once more, 5. 
Highland Schottische,^./. 
HarmonioQS Blacksmith, 
Hold the Fort, s. 5. [ p. f. 
Hnn^y Army, s. 
Hnntingtower, s. 
Home, Sweet Home, s. 
Home, Sweet Homc,j^./. 

Irish Schoolmaster, s. 
I know that my Redeemer 

s. s. 
Is there room for Mary I 
lohn Barleycorn, 5. 
John Peel, s. 

Kyrie, from xsth Mass.^^. 
Little Sweetheart, 5. 
Lost Child, s. 
Lost Chord, t. 
Lancers Quadrilles, p. f. 
Love at Home,s. 
Maid of Athens, 5. 
Maiden's Prayer, 5. &^. /. 
Mountain Belle, Scnot. 
Man of Harlech, j. 
Minstrel Boy. s. 
Marseillaise, s. 
Musical Box, p. f. 
Nobody's Darling, s. 
Old King Cole, 5. 
Ob, dem Golden Slippers- 
Only an Ivy L eaf, s. 
Oh, gently Breathe, s. 
Pilot, s.. 

Poor Old Joe, s. 
Ruth, s. s. 

Rainbow Schottische. 
Robtn Adair, s. 
Rats' Quadrille. 
I Sweet violets, s. 

Somebody Whispered, s. 
Still I Love Thee, s. 
Silver Threads, s. 
Sweet Kiss Polka, p. /. 
Silvery Waves, eASjp.f, 
Sir Roger de Coverley. 
Signal March, p. /. 
Strangers Yet. 
Those Evening Bells, s. 
Tom Bowhng, 5. 
Turkish March, p. f. 
Tout a la Joie Polka. 
They Like It, c. s. 
Thorn, «. 

Tell me, my Heart. 
Veteran (bass). 
Village Blacksmith, 5. 
Vacant Chair, s. 
Vicar of Bray, 5. 
Vital Spark, i 5. 
Wolf, i. 

Wedding Marct, b. f, 
Weber's La«t W alts. 
White Squall, s. 
Wait till theClouds roll by 

Alio imst rtadf .^-Thm Clpq ds are rolling by (Chas. Paok's Popular Reply to " Wait till the Clouds roll by.") 
90^ ntben ; all at TWOISMOE sash. No charge for postage. Complete Catalogue, id. (with At. Song free) 

t bcbw. 


LONDON MtXSIGAL AGENGY, 71, Hatton Garden. 

9tm AWA7 to the readen of tMs Maeazine On* Theiiaaad Povada wortk of Few Kaatc Till-: 
JLONDON MUSiCAL AGENCY, iia, Cicffccnwell Road. Loodw. E.G.. opposite Hatton Cartlen. »i)l 
give a 4i. Soog, full muaic she, with ptaiufcite accompaniiueM^ to every applicant. Lndosio St.imp 







Works by Hand or Treadle, onljf 40s. complete. 

Guaranteed the Cheapest and most Useful Lockititch Sewinc Macbtnc 

the World. Eipaciaily adapted for DreiBmHkiag, Ljght Tailoring, lad 

all kindi of Family Sewing, sod will ba fouod ao simple ai to require no 

'--~~ictioD beyond Iha Guide Book which it given with each Machiiw. 

11 fail to aee it. Will be cheerfully ihown at any of our Dapoti. cr 

to my eiubliihed addreai oa approval. Deiigiu and wiinplii of 


H. J. HARRIS &. CO., Manufacturers, 

Ohlsl Offloai: lis, Old Kant KcMI. LonaOB. aad atGl, Paall StieM. Woolwloh i es,Laid«B SU ei t . 
Oreanwloh: H. m^ Biwd, Lee ; IH. Bn Lau. Fwikbam ; 1, HIsh StrMt, Bauas, and ttvadway Hone. 
Tnmham Otmu, W. 




fvl frii. Sample mia 

Tm Lamut Sroci in tm Kmonoii. — ,--, ■„ -wr-a 
Tlia B. M. CO„ by Iradinc duvet with the XOBJLlf. 
~.M.- ■.. rt-j ..j._ jj,^, 5,j,„ 

and Fabric! of DreB Hat&,„., ._ „., . ,_.t« 
now wlihlo ihp reach of tb* Pablic. 

The B, H. CO. par canian la an* nan of il 
oter f I in *a1iw. 'rta B. If. CO. t*«med IhB I 

t highly of il 
, Kiogdotn e 


For Cleaniing md Pieierviag tba Tselh and 


Uasd by Hn. LAaoTar, Uadana llAaii Roil. 

Hidama Adiltia FAiri. and avecy lady who 

viluM barlaatta., aitdb. 

Sold by alt Chtmisit and Hatrdraurt, 
Or direct (id. aiira f« poMa|el bom iha 


'Manila Qilie! 

unudivu I*k« It rsmitil;. 
OhUdran do not aiupeot 1 
Children Uka lU amet, utioag fl 

A fint-el*u Apnlant for erery fMnlly. 
Doei not Gripe. Lnvrt no bid eBecti. 
A »{■ and lura Apeii«ni for womeo *i *U dawi. 


.1,11 M Mabu* CAaa, ^ha U. M.^a- Am, ^*7 
CiUiHut, vks <« only tfl •* /nm mmr ITUnJt 
Hixai. all of wliam Imta uem im iltti. TiUjw 




I, The Mystery of Allan Grale. With an Illustra- 
tion hy M. Ellen Edwards. 

Chapter XXXII. Lady Laura's Advice. 

„ XXXIII. The Letter that was not Found. 

„ XXXIV. Mr. Grale's Visit. 

„ XXXV. The Mediumship of Miss Bessie Tempest. 

II. A Country Heart. By G. B. Stuart. 

III. Board-Ship Friendships. 

IV. Miss Oldham's Choice. Author of " Adonais, Q.C." 

V. Household Names. By Helen Marion Burnside. 

VI. The Old Stone Cross. By the Author of " Ninety 
Years Ago." 

VII. Inestimable Loans. 
VIII. Camping Out. By Minnie Douglas. 

AU Manuscripts and Communications must be addressed to the Sub-Editor of 
Trs Argosy, 8, New Burlington Street, W. From the large number of Articles 
received, it is impossible to return them unless accompanied by stamps. The 
Pabiisbers cannot be responsible for articles accidentally lost. 


RICHARD BENTLEY & SON, 8, New Burlington Street, 

Publishers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, 






c circumiuncci, ihould Iba polson-itarm ol Cholera or Fevsr be ;ib- 

I in ■ noiniil or hniltbjF condilion mar be la^eeled id nreciKlj the 
litiiHi. ai to tbe conla^oui iaflueDcei. and fEl ocaptCboIera and 
lit I coniider eiplalDi utillielorily iha (eaiaing mnterf IhilpenoDi 

nuy be compared to a weed (and tiajiigljoat looj.bnleven wecdt 
HIV nn uilid aigiiciiui ; aod wbal 1 conleDd for ii thii. Ihal a pcnon 
:e«flbe ipecific poiun— that i>. Iba germ dI 
.clihaditoiK. Vtbyf Becaoie hiiiecnliDus 

;led to Ibe infl 
oaghly normal ci 


aloe of SN( 

[frS F 



or drinkmi. *c., bj naiural inwn>. No ooa 
wardlnaofi BLOOD POISONS. Altera very patj 
ol Iba BBacIt of BBO'S FKDIT BALT, 1 bave nol 
keening Iba body healthy ware univeiully knaon, 

d air, eiTon of eating 


iblediv deiiv 


in Ihe Malay Peaiaiola. Slam, and Cambodli, and have undoubl 
supply of FRUIT SALT b^ 

rkniT SALTacIt^^ 


«o into ihejungic »ii£io -.- , 

]''.K.G.S.. Hi> Siamese Majesty's Hydiogifrapher ; C. C, D*viDtoN, Supdriotesdent SiameM Getcmnii 
Telegraphi, Bangkok, Siai . ^.. .. .. .. 

THE SEORET OF SUOOESS.— " A neiv invantion is brought before ibe public, and uiiti- 
mands success. A uore of abominable imit;<liont are immediately iiilroduud by the un^cnipulous.xho. 
in copying the orif^inal closely cDOUHh to deceive Ihe pabljc. and yet bol so euctly as Eo infringe upoji leiraj 
righli. cacreiw: aa ingenuity inat, emplojad in an oriEiitaL cLiaanel, could nol fail lo lecure repuUtioa and 

^k BMIU anJ irr Ihtl Iht Captvliis matlitd •■ BtlO'^ FMTT B/tLT." WilSimtil 

a voluntarily testilyicg to Ibe value ol your preparalion. and 
aiuiifllewimautJI, and have also recommended it taoihen.- -^- 

*•■- •=■■ "-■ •' "-diosrapher i E. C. Davio^on, Sup 

.—J. C. End, Esq., Loudon." 


. SULD BY ALL CHE.VI!.Ti. Dtric 

PrBpMedonl yrtEMO'BFSiriT SALT WQBKa,H»tofaam. London. S-E-.b/Eno'i Patent. 

If you with to be wtll and keap well, takt 

Is Worki.LuDbath, I.B. 






THE rich golden light of the calm summer evening lay upon 
Dering as the door of Moorland House was thrown open to 
admit Dr. Palmer and Charles Carr. 

Mr. Carr was shown into a room to wait, while Dr. Palmer hastily 
inade his way to the dining-room, from whence came the sound of 
voices in commotion. It was Mrs. Grale's cry of distress which he 
had heard. The news spoken out by the incautious servant — that 
Mr. Allan's walking-stick had just been discovered by the Black Pool — 
had startled and partly stimned her. She was lying back on a sofa. 

" She must be kept perfectly quiet," observed Dr. Palmer, as he 
busied himself about her. 

That sentence completed Mrs. Grale's present restoration. " No, no, 
Doctor," she faintly cried. " There has been too much keeping quiet 
already ! I mean to hear what there is to be heard about my poor 
boy, whom I believe I shall never, never see again." 

She burst into a flood of passionate tears and went on with a wail : 

" IVe had a sort of feeling upon me from the very first that I never 
should. I did not dare to say it, or they would have scolded me 
for my fencies ! But I felt it. I did— I did ! " 

" Hush, hush," said Dr. Palmer, soothingly. " If we are to allow 
you to speak, you must be calm and reasonable." 

" Doctor," cried Mrs. Grale, " it's no use your trying to make it 
less than it is. They have found my poor Alny's stick in the Black 

"There," said Dr. Palmer, "is an exaggeration to begin with. 
They have found Allan's stick, but not in the Black Pool. It was 
among the bushes of the woodland round the Pool ; it was not in it." 

This variation, slight as it was, produced a revulsion of feeling 
in Mrs. Grale's breast. She laughed hysterically. "That's what 


1 62 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

happened to my hamper," she said. And nobody but Mary Anne 
knew what she meant, for the Doctor had quite foigotten that inci- 

Dr. Palmer's quick glance had maAt him aware of the presence of 
a stranger; a tall, limp lady, with an aquiline nose and strongly 
marked eyebrows. Lady Laura Bond had rushed across the hall 
from the drawing-room, and made herself very useful with her expe- 
rience and her sal-volatile. Dr. Palmer knew he should not like such 
a person fussing round himself. 

" You had better go to your room," he urged his patient " You 
will be more comfortable there, and we will tell you all you wish to 

" No, no," persisted Mrs. Grale, " tell me at once ; here. Eveiy- 
body may as well hear now that I've never known where my son is^ 
or where he went to. Mr. Grale seemed to know something, and 
that quieted me ; otherwise I could have had no rest" 

There ensued a slight rustle in the background. Without a word 
Lady Laura had gracefully withdrawn. She was not going to intrude 
and she had heard quite enough. Maiy Anne followed her. 

"You know you let me believe you understood all about it, 
Richard," repeated Mrs. Gnde, reproachfully. " And if Alny has been 
lying dead and cold all the time youVe been feeling angry with 

him " 

Mrs. Grale broke down. Her husband's dark face was darker than 
Dr. Palmer had ever seen it 

" I knew of sufficient reasons why he might well wish to go for a 
time," he said, with dogged sternness. " Though some others who 
ought equally to have gone have enough effirontery to remain." 

" What's that ? " asked Mrs. Grale, sharply, " Do you mean the 
Vivians? I don't believe Alny was in anything that the young 
Vivians were not in also. He had no other friends here." 

Mr. Grale looked at the Doctor, and muttered, " Women's random 
shots hit the truth wonderfully near sometimes." 

" But what about the walldng-stick ? " wailed Mrs. Grale. " Why 

should Alny have left it lying there ? If he drowned himself ^" 

" People don't get parcels sent to them after they have drowned 
themselves, Mary," interrupted her husband, drily. 

Mrs. Grale was silent. She thought he alluded to the parcel which 
had been directed to the station at Corrabuin, and which she believed 
Allan must himself have fetched away. In that belief might he 
consolation. Dr. Palmer spoke up. As yet there could be no 
certainty about the matter anyway, as to whether Allan was alive 
or dead; and his kind heart yearned with pity for the poor 

" I had come up to tell you about Allan's walking-stick," he said, 
gently, " and also about something else. Young Carr went over to 
Sladford to-day, and heard that your son had been seen there the 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 163 

evening that he left home, or the next evening. You know, Mr. 
Giale, I told you I was nearly sure I had seen Allan in the Carstow 
Road that night And the Carstow Road leads to Sladford.'' 

''What! Did you go cross-questioning everybody about your own 
son, Richard, while making me, his mother, believe that you knew 
nothing?" cried Mrs. Grale, 1^0 was in that uneasy frame of mind 
that makes us cavil at anything. 

''You see, Mr. Grale thought he knew why Allan had gone, but he 
did not know when or how he went," explsiined the Doctor, gendy, 
apologising for Mr. Grale, who sat aside, dark and dumb.r ** And, my 
dear lady, I am not exactly 'everybody' — Mr. Grale places confidence 
in me." 

"I had a right to his confidence too," cried Mrs. Grale. "And 
so you thought you saw Allan leaving Dering, and told my husband 
of it," she went on. " Why need he have hidden that ? It would 
have been the greatest comfort to me." 

"I believed Dr. Palmer was mistaken," said Mr. Grale. "You 
know you did not feel sure, Doctor : and you said the person you saw 
wore no overcoat" 

"No," said the Doctor, "he did not wear one." 

" Allan had his overcoat with him," returned Mr. Grale. ^' These 
peq)le in Sladford, that you speak of, Doctor — did they know him 
well? Did.they talk with him?" 

Dr. Palmer answered rather reluctantly : he was not feeling sure 
himself. " It was Mark Acland who saw him. At least, saw someone 
that he thought was Allan. He only spoke to him as an ordinary 
customer in the shop ; he could not think where he had known his 
face; it was only afterwacds' that he remembered, or fancied he re- 
memberedy whose it was." 

" Not very good evidence," said Mr. Grale, decisively. 

" That box at Corrabuin — ^it has always seemed to me to be our 
best chance of hearing of him. If only we knew where it came 
from ! " interposed Mrs. Grale. 

" I do know," replied her husband, shortly. And Dr. Palmer was 
almost startled by the abruptness of this declaration. 

" Do you know what was in it ? " asked Mrs. Grale, bewildered. 

" I do," he said again, with equal curtness. 

" Oh, Richard ! Do you know where it is now ? — or what became 
of it ? " she enquired again, her voice rising to a piteous wail. 

Mr. Grale hesitated a moment " I know that Allan has not got 
it," he said, slowly. 

Mrs. Grale fell back on the sofa and buried her face in the pillows^ 
" My boy is deadl " she sobbed. 

"You must not even think such things," said Dr. Palmer, " without 
better evidence. He may be alive and quite well" 

"I am to. be kept in the dark," she wept "You may find out 
this, and youmay find out that, and you may tell each other — ^but I 


164 The Mystery ^ Allan Grale. 

shall never know, except by some chance, like to-night's. I have 
more right to know than anyone else has : is he not my son ? " 

Her husband made a little, deprecating shrug. Perhaps he, better 
than anybody else, could understand the agony of despair which was 
giving her this novel courage. '' I did not tell you ever3rthing at first, 
Folly," he said, in his kindlier manner, '* because I expected we should 
hear something of Allan soon enough, and I wanted to spare you what 
I thought would be only a few days of needless anxiety. In that case, 
if Allan had come to his right mind, he himself would have thanked 
me for my silence. I would have told you all had I known how the 
uncertainty was to be prolonged." 

I know there's nothing but the worst to hear," sobbed Mrs. Grale. 

Why should my sister Marget be always haunted by those dreams ?— 
up to this very hour! — and Alny is always in them with a white, 
despairing face ! " 

" Anyway, we must try and see what we can find out now," spoke her 
husband. " I think Edgar Vivian could tell something — and I shall 
at once go to him. Dr. Palmer will go with me." 

Mrs. Grale started forward. " Did Allan meet him that night at 
the Black Pool ? " she cried. " There was the note, you remember, 
that we found in Allan's room. Didn't I say the Vivians were sure to 
be in it ? Women are a vast deal sharper than men, if only men would 
not put them on false scents. Richard," she continued, with sudden 
calmness, after a pause, her tone entirely changing, " can the two young 
men have quarrelled, and " 

She would not speak the concluding words. Dr. Palmer felt a chill 
run over him. 

" Still there's that box," she mused, rallying a little. " Allan must 
have sent it to Corrabuin to wait for him after he left home." 

" No, no," said Mr. Grale. " Edgar Vivian sent that box. He 
must have been taking charge of it for Allan." 

Mrs. Grale looked from one to the other. She did not understand 

" I suppose he must have had a letter from Allan asking him to 
send the box on to Scotland," explained Mr. Grale. " I have never 
had any doubt of that, Mary." 

.''Have you seen the letter, Richard?" she asked, her tone low, 
shrinking, terrible. It was hard to believe it came fix)m genial, easy- 
going Mrs. Grale. 

" Not yet," answered her husband, almost reluctandy. 

" And you never will ! " she replied with energy. " Don't you 
see how it is ? Edgar Vivian wanted to get rid of the box some- 
how — after the quarrel — and the — ^the " 

What awful word would she have spoken, had not something in 
Dr. Palmer's face checked her? It was a look of horror, startled 
horror ; but in a moment it was gone. 

" I expect we shall see that letter to-night, Mrs. Grale, and prob- 
ably we shall get much more than mere negative news. I cannot 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 165 

believe ill of Edgar Vivian," added the Doctor. " It seems impos- 
sible that I can have been so entirely mistaken in him«'' 

" We do find ourselves mistaken in people sometimes," said Mr. 
Gnde, in an undertone. " Strangely so." 

They turned to leave the room on their way to Dering Court, to 
seek Edgar Vivian. Mr. Grale stood for a moment before his wife. 

"Polly," he said, in a gentle tone, "you have been blaming me 
in your mind unnecessarily. I have good reason for thinking that 
Alny went away for his own purposes and that he is staying away for 
them. If I were to tell you all — ^which I don't do only because it 
would worry you — ^you would think so too. Take heart : I don't 
believe any harm has happened to him." 

And Mr. Grale stooped and kissed her. 

" We will send Mary Anne to her mother," he said to the Doctor. 

Lady Laura Bond and Miss Grale were standing in the bay window 
of the drawing-room, close together, talking earnestly. Mr. Grale, 
apologising, told Mary Anne she must go to her sick mother. 

" Indeed, yes ; and I am going away at once, or I shall not reach 
home before dark," said Lady Laura. " But I will say good-bye to 
your mother first, my dear," she added to Mary Anne, as the gentle- 
men went out They took Charles Carr with them, who had been 
patiently waiting ; and Mr. Grale questioned him as to the details of 
what he had heard from Mark Acland at Sladford. 

Lady Laura Bond stole to Mrs. Grale's side. No other word would 
describe her entrance. She crept into the dining-room, her supple 
forai looking more willowy than ever, as if she was wending her way 
in and out among intangible and mysterious obstacles. She felt that 
Mrs. Grale would be repelled by any polite ignoring of family dis- 
grace and trouble : for her, it must be lifted at once into the realms 
of tragedy. And Lady Laura not only understood what consolation 
would be acceptable, but could render it 

*' My darling ! my poor agonized mother-heart ! " she exclaimed, 
bending over Mrs. Grale, and taking both her hands in hers. 

" Ah, Lady Laura ! you can't think what it is ! " sighed Mrs. 
Grale, lifUng her swimming eyes. 

"Can't I?" returned Lady Laura, her tone intended to remind 
Mrs. Grale that her ladyship was a most unhappy wife and mother, 
living apart from her husband, who doggedly withheld from her the 
companionship of her child. Nobody ever knew exactly what the 
story meant, but everybody said that if there had been anything 
really wrong, be sure Mr. Bond would have applied for a divorce — 
men never failed to do that ! Very few people had ever seen Mr. 
Bond, and the current opinion was that he was a brute and his charm- 
ing wife an ill-used woman. 

One of Lady Laura's great charms was that she never spoke about 
her woes to her friends. She gave them eyes ; she gave them tones ; 
but she never gave them words. 

1 66 The MysUfy of Allan Grale. 

*' Can't I ? " she repeated ; and stood holding Mrs. Giale's hands, 
and gazing out upon the trees in the last golden ray of the sunset 
" Can't I ? No, perhaps I can't" 

** Ah, you can, you dear patient angel," cried Mrs. Grale, rousing 
heos^f. *' But, then, how you do bear on is always. a mirade to me. 
I could not do it" 

<< We can do what we must," said Lady Laura, again gazing out- 

" Ah, well — ^perhaps," a&nitted Mrs. Grale, flurried ; for she thought 
by the look on Mary Anne's face that, perhaps, she was going too far 
in freedom with her ladyship. " It's when one does not know what 
it is one must bear that is the worst of all ! It's not knowing what 
is going to happen next, or even which way to look for it — that is 
more than I can endure." 

" My dear Mrs. Grale," whispered Lady Laura, gracefully sinking 
upon the sofa beside her, " if you really wish to get some informa- 
tion — or some sort of foreshadowing — some idea of what you have 
to hope or to fear, why don't you apply to a medium ? " 

Mrs. Grale's eyes and mouth opened. **What, a spirit-rapper?" 
she cried. 

'* Oh» mamma ! " exclaimed Mary Anne, deprecatingly. 
." Hush, dear," said L&dy Laura ; " I can understand your mamma's 
prejudices. All the uninitiated have prejudices : I had them myself. 
They are soon dispelled by knowledge;" 

"I'm sure I know very little of the subject," said Mary Anne. 
" Nothing except what you have told me." 

" Yes, dear," said Lady Laura, turning to Mrs. Grale, " I mean 
what you mean by a spirit^rapper ; but then I mean something vety 
different from what is in your mind. Why! — ^you are a Scotch- 
woman — ^you must believe in second-sight ? " 

"Mamma believes in a great many mysterious things," asserted 
l^ary Anne. Now that she found her mother's old world superstitions 
flourishing on fashionable ground, she was content to forego her former 
ridicule of them. 

" I have always known there must be something in second-sight, 
and in dreams and warnings," admitted Mrs. Grale ; " but they are 
very different from spirit-rappings." 

"Very different," assented Lady Laura, with her gracious little 
kugh : " as different as wild flowers, springing up one knows not how 
or where, are different from the cultivated blossoms of garden and 
greenhouse^ We have a kind of philosophy of these things now — 
almost a science ! " 

" I don't know anything about philosophy, or science either," said 
poor Mrs. Grale. 

" You know only a warm, loving heart and a faith that could move 
mountains," whispered Lady Laura, tenderly squeezing Mrs. Grale's 
hand. " How I wish you could see our gifted Bessie Tempest ! She 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 167 

would rejoice to work for you. She has done so much for poor Lady 

''Why, what was the matter with her ? " asked Mrs. Grale, almost 

"Ah, poor dear I-^^na sad tragedy^ But i^es^ie brought her such 
beautiful messages. And as for the wonders Bessie worked in the 
Earl of Dunster's house — of course, one cannot^ relate them without 
telling things which must not be spoken of outside a family circle. 
In a word, dear. Mrs. Grale, I don't hesitate to say. that Bessie 
Tempest would be able to tell you all about your dear son, where- 
ever he is or whatever has happened." 

Mrs. Grale hesitated. '^ I'm afraid Mr. Grale would say it was all 
nonsense," said she, beginning, however, to long after these revela- 

"Need he know it — ^at first?" murmured Lady Laura. "Could 
you not meet Bessie Tempest at my. house ? " 
"Oh, yes — ^if we might," said Mary Anne, impulsively. 
Lady Laura sighed, and shook her head. " If I could manage it ! " 
she breathed. " Dear Bessie Tempest makes me a great pet. All 
the messages she brings me from the spirits begin 'White Dove.' 
I tell her that it is only because the spirits know she hkes to spoil me. 
But Bessie is very particular. She does not like to meet members of 
any family whose head objects to her ; she says the want of harmony 
tries her. She perhaps might do it as an act of spiritual charity — 
yet I doubt if she would. Certainly I cannot promise." 

" I would not have it if she would," remarked Mrs. Grale, with 
decision. "I'm not going to enter upon any underhand work." 

" How Bessie would like to hear you speak," said Lady Laura, with 
enthusiasm. ' Dear Mrs. Grale,' she would say ; *• here is one of those 
whose intuitions are right' " 

" I own I should like to see the young lady," admitted Mrs. Grale. 
" It seems a nicer and quieter way of finding out things than by the 
detective police." 

Lady Laura gave her head a meditative little shake. " The detec- 
tive police themselves would be only too glad to employ the services 
of Bessie Tempest When her gift was first discovered, some detec- 
tives came to her ; but now that she has realised her position, she 
takes care to keep aloof from any such people." 

"Do you think — if I could get Mr. Grale to consent — that she 
would come here ? " asked Mrs. Grale of Lady Laura. 

"She is very much taken up with the Dunsters just now," replied 
her ladyship. " But you know you may command my infiuenge with 
her, dear Mrs. Grale." 

"I don't bejieve papa will raise any obstacle at all," remarked Mary 
Anne; "I can't imagine why mamma should think he will." Mary 
Anne was longing for an interview with Miss Bessie Tempest If 
that gifted personage could find out one mystery, she might find out 

1 68 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

another, and Mary Anne was quite sure there was something mysteri- 
ous about George Vivian. 

" I will write to Miss Tempest," said Lady Laura, " and tell her 
that she must hold herself at my disposal, for a work of love and 
mercy, on any sudden notice that I may give her." 

" But you must not tell her anything — you must not give her any 
clue," observed Mrs. Grale, suspiciously. 

" My dear lady, you, as yet uninitiated, cannot realise how careful 
we are on that score. In the interests of scientific investigation, we 
observe precautions which you would never dream of. Yet there's 
little need: the revelations imparted to these mediums from the spirit- 
world are wonderful." 

" I think I shall be frightened," said Mrs. Grale. " Still "—her old 
Scotch caution making itself heard — " after all, whatever is said may 
not be true.*' 

" Of course not," observed Lady Laura, " dear Bessie herself is the 
first to admit that. * The spirits are not popes,' she says in her 
pretty way ; ' they do not claim to be infallible.' Bessie may not be 
able to tell you anything you do not know already, Mrs. Grale, or she 
may tell you a great deal." 

And, with that. Lady Laura Bond wished her friends adieu, and 
went out to her waiting fly. 



The latest lingering glory had faded from the western sky when 
Dr. Palmer and Mr. Gnde reached the Court. Charles Can had 
left them at the lodge gates, going back again himself. 

They asked for Mr. Edgar Vivian, and were shown into the draw- 
ing-room. The ordinary enquiry, the ordinary servant's civility, the 
ordinary aspect of the grand apartment all struck the Doctor with a 
sense of ghastly contrast to the object of their visit and its possibili- 
ties. From the window, he looked out on the darkening sky, the 
pale line of light on the horizon fading fast — as fast, thought the 
Doctor, as human hopes or human promises. For Nature's language 
is catholic, and answers every heart according to itself. But Dr. 
Palmer was not long allowed to enjoy his silent sympathy : the door 
opened and Edgar entered. 

It appeared that the Doctor would have to open the conversation. 
He noticed that neither Mr. Grale nor Edgar seemed to dream of 
shaking hands. So Dr. Palmer hurriedly explained. 

" I told you, Mr. Edgar, Jong ago, that I thought Mr. Grale would 
some day seek an interview with you. He has come at last He 
wishes to hear all you can tell him of his son, for there is great 
anxiety setting in about Allan now." 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 169 

Edgar Vivian answered not a word ; but he turned towards the 
manu^cturer, as if to indicate " I am ready." 

"You called on my son the day that he went away, I believe/* 
began Mr. Grale, rather huskily. 

" I called on him one day about that time," replied young Vivian. 
"I do not know if it was the day he went away. He was not at home, 
and I did not see him." 

"And you left a note for him ? " 

" Yes. I wrote it in your hall, and left it with the maid." 

" Do you remember the date ? " asked Dr. Palmer. 

" I believe it was the twentieth of October." 

" Did you date your note ? " 

Edgar Vivian smiled faintly. " I do not remember," he replied. 

" You did not date it," interposed Mr. Grale, with some emphasis- 
"The note contained a request that Allan would meet you at the 
Black PooL I understand you say that appointment was not kept" 

" No, it was not," said Edgar, speaking rather abruptly, as if not 
much caring to answer. " I did not see your son at all, sir, after I 
left that note for him at your house." 

" Can you remember anything connected with your call when you 
left the note ? " argued the Doctor. " Tell us any little detail, how- 
ever unimportant it may seem to you." 

Apparently with ready compliance, Edgar Vivian bent his head, as 
one is apt to do when trying to recall past facts to the memory. " The 
maid told me Mr. Allan had but just gone out. She thought he 
might be gone to Dr. Palmer's. A small parcel, addressed to Mr. 
Charles Carr, had been lying on the hall-table all the afternoon, she 
said, and as it was no longer there, she thought Mr. Allan might be 
taking it to him." 

This was news to Dr. Palmer. " Dear me ! " he said, " I have never 
heard anything of this. If Charles Carr had had any communication 
with Allan that day, I am sure he would have mentioned it to me." 

Edgar sat silent Fully detailed as were his answers, there was a 
want of candour in his manner. He waited for questions. 

" These are minor details, and may be left," said Mr. Grale, his 
tone a stem one. " I was given to understand, Mr. Edgar Vivian, 
that you received a letter from my son after he left home. Can you 
tell me whence it was written, and what its date was ? " 

Again Edgar Vivian bent his head, as if considering his answer. 

" Yes, I did receive one from him," he at length said " It was 
dated Glasgow ; the — I think — the twenty-fifth of October." 

" And with what object was it written ? " 

" It was — ^it was — asking me to forward to a certain address some- 
thing that I held of his," replied Edgar, with the hesitating air of one 
who is in doubt whether he ought to speak or not 

" That is, asking you to send to the station, at Corrabuin, a certain 
box which you had in your charge ? " spoke Mr. Grale. 

170 Thfi Mystery of AUan Grale. 

*' YeS| sir ; that is so." 

*^ How long had you been taking charge of the box ? " 

*^ Allan brought it to me on the very day my uncle was taken ilL He 
also brought me, at the same time, a loan of fifty pounds, which I had 
asked him for." Edgar spoke slowly and with emphasis, and this time 
he looked Mr. Grale straight in the face. 

" Dr. Palmer tells me you never asked for any further loan. Is that 

" Certainly I did not," repUed Edgar. " I should never have 
thought of asking for that loan, had I dreamed you were to be troubled 
for it, Mr. Grale. I thought it lay between Allan and me — as 

" I have a letter asking for a second loan, addressed to myself, and 
purporting to come from you," said Mr. Grale. 

" I never wrote it," answered Edgar. 

Mr. Grale shook his head. " We have your note to Allan, written 
in my hall, and your label on the Corrabuin box with which to com- 
pare it" 

" I cannot help that — I did not write it," returned Edgar, his tone 
sounding reckless, as that of one turned at bay. 

Mr. Grale threw himself back in his chair. He believed it to bean 
untruth. " Have you had any further communication from my son ? " 

" No, sir, I have not None whatever." 

" Well, now, Edgar Vivian, what is there in this that you have now 
said, which prevented your saying it at the time ? " spoke Dr. Palmer, 
quite sternly. '' Could Mrs. Grale have been told that you had heard 
from her son from Glasgow subsequent to his mysterious departure 
from home, it would have seemed to her as a solace from Heaven." 

"The reason was that — that " he was hesitating again. " The 

reason I could not speak," he went on rapidly, "was that Allan 
charged me in the note, most earnestly and solemnly, not to disclose 
to any human being that I had heard from him." 

" I)td you receive any such note from him ? " asked Mr. Grale, 
gazing in the young man's face ; " any note at all ? " 

" I did, sir," was the angiy answer. 

" Have you any objection to show it to me ? " 

" I suppose there can be no objection, as you appear to know so 
much," said Edgar, haughtily. He rang the bell ; and, when Stephen 
appeared, directed him to go to his room and bring down his inlaid 
writing-desk. " Not my large writing-desk, Stephen, the little one," 
he added, to the man. 

Stephen brought back the desk, and set it on the table. Edgar took 
his keys from his pocket and unlocked it 

He lifted a few papers from the top, and laid them aside. Then 
he took out some letters and looked through them. He looked through 
every letter and paper in the desk, without appearing to find the right 
one. Then he looked through them all again, more minutely. His 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 171 

£ice flushed painfully as he turned to the two gentlemen sitting by and 
watching him. 
"This is very strange," he cried. " I cannot find the letter." 
Contempt sat on Mr. Grale's stem face. Dr. Palmer spoke. 
" You mentioned another desk to Stephen ; a larger one. Perhaps 
you put it in that one." 

"No, no. Doctor, that is my old school desk ; noting of conse- 
quence is ever put into that ; it is not kept locked," said Edgar, with 
some emotion, as he still kept nervously opening and re-closing papers. 
" What can have become of it ? I certainly thought I put it in here." 
He laid hold of the desk, turned it upside down, and shook it ; but 
nothing more fell out 

" Here's a letter of the same date," he remarked. '* I must surely 
have put this here in mistake for the other, for this is one that should 
not have been kept at all — a. mere note from a tradesman, see ! " 

He held it towards Dr. Palmer. It was a tailor's request for a 
postponement of the fulfilment of a httle order, on account of great 
pressure of work — certainly not an epistle to be treasured up. 

" I don't think there is anything more to be said," stiffly observed 
Mr. Grale, rising. 

" Mr. Grale," said the young man, '' I see what you think — that 
I am purposely keeping back the note. I assure you it is not 
so. I thought it was here — and you should have been welcome to 
read it" 

"No," said Mr. Grale, curtly, "I am not thinking that you are 
keeping the note back. Are you ready, Dr. Palmer? " 

Dr. Palmer was dissatisfied with young Vivian's manner. It was 
not the natural maimer of one anxious to tell all he knows, fears, or 
suspects. Yet it was impossible for the Doctor to give up all his faith 
in his old ^vourite. He would not even own to himself that it was 
shaking at its foundation. 

" Is there not anything more you can tell us, Edgar ? " he stayed to 
say. *' Are you aware that Allan's walking-stick has been found this 
aftemoon near the Black Pool ? You may imagine what that means 
to his friends. There is no longer room for any £adse notions of 
loyalty to false friendship. Allan could never wish his parents to be 
subjected to a cruel anxiety if you can put an end to it" 

Edgar Vivian recoiled. He had not heard the news. '' By the 
Black Pool ! " he exclaimed. " What does that mean ? Why Maria 

—Maria " 

"Yes," said Dr. Palmer, "it will alarm your sister. I know that 
she has had curious fears and fancies. You had better keep it from 
her at present— if that shall be possible." 

Of course Edgar Vivian discerned the kind of fear that was crop^ 
ping up of the Black Pool — that he was lying in its waters. 

*' I cannot think it," he said, with what looked hke very genuine 
earnestness. "I believe that Allan must have got away from the 

172 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

neighbourhood. Will you tell me one thing, Mr. Grale : what became 
of the box I sent to Corrabuin ? " 

" I will," replied Mr. Grale, harshly. " I have it." 

" Then possibly you know what it contains, sir. I never did." 

The assertion struck bitterly on Mr. Grale's mind. " I dare say ! " 
he ejaculated. 

" But if I had known earlier things concerning Allan which I began 
to suspect later," pursued Edgar, " no box of his should have ever 
been in my possession." 

Mr. Grale's face turned livid with anger. " What do you know, or 
suspect ? " he cried. " Unless you know what is in that box, or 
unless you have been mixed up with other things of which a guilty 
knowledge would put you in a felon's dock ? Unless you do, I say, 
you can know nothing : and if you do, then hold your peace, and I 
will hold mine, if I may. My son may be dead — ^leave him his 
character. Surely he has paid dearly enough for the past, when he 
has paid with his hfe — his very life — ^while you will go free and 
unscathed ! " 

Edgar Vivian was trembling from head to foot. The hand on which 
Dr. Palmer laid his own, was deathly cold. 

" Have you nothing to say ? " whispered the Doctor. But it was 
too late. Mr. Grale's heavy footsteps were crossing the hall. 

" The truth, the truth, Edgar ! Speak it." 

" Dr. Palmer," was the agitated answer, " I have said nothing but 
the truth." 

" Perhaps not all of it," thought the Doctor, as he hastened after 
Mr. Grale, and overtook him at the foot of the outer steps. " Perhaps 
not all of it" 

"He never had that letter from Glasgow," affirmed Mr. Grale, 
taking his friend's arm, as if he felt the need of its support. " He 
says it for a blind. He got afraid to have anything of Allan's in his 
possession, and so packed the box off to the first place that came into 
his head." 


MR. GRALE's visit. 

Mrs. Grale did not succumb so utterly as might have been expected 
to the gloomy cloud which seemed to be settling on Moorland House. 
Over and over again her husband assured her that there were good 
reasons why their son should have gone away and be keeping away. 
He told her, though he did not say that he did not believe it absolutely 
himself, that Edgar Vivian had received a letter from Allan written 
at Glasgow a few days subsequent to his leaving home ; in which letter 
he had requested Edgar to send the box to Corrabuin, there to wait 
until he fetched it away. Thus the keenest edge of agonised suspicion 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. • 173 

was softened, and the poor mother began to hope again that her son 
might be alive and safe. 

Mrs. Grale and Maiy Anne lost no time in confiding to Mr. Grale 
the suggestion of Lady Laura Bond — that of employing a medium. 
Maiy Anne proved right in her belief that her father would not pooh- 
pooh the idea. Mr. Grale was no more a sceptic in the unseen than 
he was in religion, but he cared for none of these mystical things. 
He laughed at ghosts, visions, presentiments, and the like, much as 
he would have laughed at romance, poetry or martyrdom. Never- 
theless, when the laugh was done, he would narrate, as most of us do, 
one or two " queer things " he knew, " quite true and quite unac- 
countable," and very angry would he be if anybody seemed to doubt 
his assurances of their having happened, or tried to account for his 
incidents as commonplace matter-of-fact 

Besides, Mr. Grale's own mind was in truth cruelly exercised, though 
he hid his doubts and trouble from the world. Was his son alive, or 
was his son dead ? To be set at rest on this point he would have 
given much ; and it may be, a half idea crossed him that a " medium " 
could do it. 

But — ^though Mr. Grale did not laugh to scorn the proposal of con- 
sulting one, he yet gave no sign that he would accede to it. There 
seemed to be some serious objection in his mind; his daughter 
thought so. The discussion ended by his saying that he would him- 
self go over, and discuss the matter with Lady Laura Bond. 

Lady Laura marvelled within herself when the manufacturer's card 
was brought to her. In a moment she guessed what it was that 
he had come about, and she guessed that he was favourably inclined 
thereto : for no man, in her experience, had ever taken a long drive 
on purpose to contradict or deny her wishes. Her wishes had been 
crossed often enough, but people had gone out of her reach to thwart 

So she went down to receive her visitor, and placed him in the 
snuggest chair (her drawing-room was full of snug chairs), and enquired 
after his wife and daughter, and showed no sign of any consciousness of 
aught deeper than an ordinary call, except by the extreme quietness 
of her manner, and the almost caressing softness of her tones. 

" Lady Laura," he said, abruptly, after a moment's pause, " my 
wife tells me that you have spoken to her of a way by which — by 
which matters hidden from common knowledge may have some light 
thrown upon them." 

" Ah, dear Mr. Grale, yes ; we were talking," said Lady Laura, 
sweetly. " I think you must he troubled at not getting news about 
your poor boy. Have you employed the detective police ? " 

" I don't think much of the detective police, madam," observed 
Mr. Grale, looking round, and wondering whether it was the aroma 
of aristocracy which gave a charm to the cheap chintzes and common 
plants of Lady Laura's room, such as entirely eluded the solid 

174 T^f^ Mystery of Allan Grale. 

grandeurs and hothouse glories of his own establishment. *' They 
stir up a lot of dirty water, and rarely do any good at last" 

" Most graphically put, and most true," said Lady Laura, with 
effusion. '* Now that's just what I want to spare poor Mrs. dale. 
I know what sad lines there are in family tragedies, Mr. Grale." She 
looked at him with her lustrous dark eyes, and Mr. Giale thought 
that fellow. Bond, deserved to be kicked. 

" What you suggested to Mrs. Grale was, I think, that she should 
consult a medium." 

" Yes," said I^dy Laura. " And if you and dear Mrs. dale will 
only do so, I can at least say that it will be a chance. One can pro- 
mise nothing : the matter does not lie in their hands, you know." 

"But they — ^what do you call them — ^the spirits? — ^would know, 
would they not, if anything is wrong, and might they not tell it? — the 
sort of thing one wouldn't like told?" added Mr. Grale, bending 
forward in his eagerness for an answer. " I have read queer stories 
of their power." 

" The dear spirits," said Lady Laura, " are tender to human weak- 
nesses and follies ; and tender— -oh, how tender ! — ^to human feelings ! 
If you have a sore place in your heart, Mr. Grale, which it is neces- 
sary for them to touch, they will do it so gently and carefully. And 
their touch will bring healing with it, dear Mr. Grale." 

" Yes, madam ; but the question is — ^if they know any bad news, 
will they tell that?" asked the matter-of-fact manufacturer. 

Lady Laura paused. " How good you are, Mr. Grale ! I don't 
believe my dear Bessie Tempest ever had a sitter whom she would 
more desire to serve. If there is anything she can be permitted-^ 
permitted by the spirits — ^to reveal to you and your friends, rely upon 
it she will do so." 

Mr. Grale was rather taken aback. "I was not thinking of 
friends," he said. " I was thinking of myself and my poor wife. 
There are some little matters about our son which I've kept to myself. 
You're a woman of the world. Lady Laura, and you wiU know Uiere 
are some things that it is best a mother should not hear." 

" Ah," murmured Lady Laura, catching back a sigh, " happy are 
those who have such a screen between them and the cruel truth ! " 

" And if anything went wrong with Allan — ^if he had any private 
trouble before he went away that he kept from his mother, why then 
I should like it to be, if possible, always kept from her," pursued 
Mr. Grale. " Now, would a medium be likely to speak of that? If 
so, I will not let my wife meet one." 

" You can trust Ms medium, Mr. Grale. The moment you see 
Bessie Tempest, you will see that she never could or would be made 
the agent for wounding a mother's heart. But, my dear sir, if it is to 
be a small family sitting, we must take care that liie very intensity of 
your feelings and longings does not spoil all ! Lord Dunster never 
had a merely fieimily sitting : delicate as was the position of his afiairs, 

Tlie Mystery of Allan Grale. 175 

he invited friends— confidential friends, of course — ^and trusted to the 
spirits not to fiiil him. They never did." 

Mr. Grale paused. '' If you consider it would be best to have 
another or two present, Lady Laura," he said, " we can easily ask 
some one or other. I would ask Dr. Palmer." 

" That delightful doctor who is attending Mrs. Grale ? The very 
thing. We like to bring our subject before scientific men. And he 
has daughters — ^very nice girls. And then there are your friends at 
the Court" 

She had heard much of the Vivians from Mary Anne. She might 

have also heard something from Viscount Rockford and Lord Pelerin. 

" But it is not for me to suggest," she resumed " That lies with 

yourself, dear Mr. Grale. And we must not have anyone antagonistic 

at these meetings, or all is ruined." 

" The General and his niece are ill," observed Mr. Grale. " If I 

had anyone from the Court, it would be George Mr. Vivian. 

He is a nice fellow, and we all like him. But now," he continued, 
after a pause, " will your ladyship pardon me if I put to you the chief 
question which I came here to put ?" 

He looked at her intently for a moment. Lady Laura, inwardly 
wondering, looked at him. 
" I think you will deal frankly with me. Lady Laura ? " 
"Why, my dear sir, how can you doubt it?" 

"Well, then do you truly believe these mediums have any 

such power? I mean the power of discerning things which they 
assume to have, but which is not possessed by ordinary people. Or do 
you think it is a sham altogether, put on to serve their own interests ? " 
"Their own interests?" gasped Lady Laura, her eyes and face pre- 
senting one perplexed stare. 

" Is it merely assumed to gull the credulous public and put money 
into their own pockets?" continued the plain-speaking man of 

Her ladyship gave vent to a frightened little scream and flung 
her hands over her face. 

" Oh, Mr. Grale ! Oh, dear, dear Mr. Grale ! If you only knew 
how true and earnest they are ! — how single-minded my dear Miss 
Bessie Tempest is I Pray dismiss the thought I " 

" Then " 

"A moment yet, dear sir; let me say just a word. There may 
be a few such vricked impostors as you speak of, for the world abounds 
in such ; nobody is safe from them : but oh, dear Mr. Grale, do not, 
pray, confound them with the true mediums who have been, for the 
helpful purpose of aiding their fellow creatures, so highly favoured. 
You may trust Bessie Tempest as you would trust me." 

^' Very well — ^and I thank you, madam, for answering me candidly, 
and for setting my doubts at rest," said the good man. '< Then we will 
arrange for the siance — that is what it is called, I believe. I should 

I; 6 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

like it to be at my own house. Mary Anne said something about 
your ladyship's ; but we will not so far trouble you." 

" At your own house certainly, dear Mr. Grale. You must let the 
medium see and touch that walking-stick," she said, dropping her 
voice to a whisper. " A rapport is of great assistance to them." 

Mr. Grale listened and nodded, probably the more impressed the 
less he understood. " There is another walking-stick concerned ; at 
least, that may have been concerned," he said. " Ought that one to 
be present also, Lady Laura." 

"Yes," she answered, "and also any other articles at hand. 
Sometimes things are strangely asked for after the medium has passed 
into the trance. I will write to Miss Tempest to come here the day 
after to-morrow, and will drive her over to Moorland House the 
following afternoon. That will be Saturday : shall we say Saturday 
evening for the stance? — the soft summer twilight is always pro- 
pitious to these meetings." 

" They sometimes take place in pitch darkness, don't they ? " 
Lady Laura laughed lightly. " Darkness is sometimes necessai}', I 
believe, but very seldom. I do hope, dear Mr. Grale, that you will 
be satisfied in all ways. There will be a handsome cheque to pay to 
Miss Tempest, if successful," she added with deprecation. " She is 
coming from a distance to oblige us, you see. 

" Of course, of course ; I quite understand that," readily responded 
Mr. Grale in a hearty tone. 

Declining the offer of refreshment, Mr. Grale rose to leave. Lady 
Laura accompanied him across the hall, and shook hands with him at 
the door, all in a homely comfortable fashion — ^which quite impressed 
the homely man. She stepped outside and stood there talking with 
him for a minute or two. His mail phaeton — ^for Mr. Grale kept one, 
and had driven over in it — was pacing about, waiting for him. At 
Chat moment the dreadful butcher was leaving a joint at the side-gate. 
He and the grocer were both dunning her ladyship for money. The 
sight of her intimacy with the rich and respected manufacturer would 
not make them more impatient to be settled with. 

That evening Mr. Grale called at Dr. Palmer's. He explained to 
him what was in contemplation, and asked the Doctor to be present 
" I have always had my doubts — nay, more than doubts," observed 
Mr. Grale. " I don't fully believe now, though Lady Laura has done 
her best to convince me. What is your opinion, my friend ? " 

But Dr. Palmer did not give one. He had heard curious things 
stated, but he had not followed them himself. " It is hard to believe 
that these wonders, revelations as they call them, can be pumped 
up at a given hour of a given day, at a given place by a given person," 
he said. I am more inclined to believe in the little intuitions which 
flash in and out of daily life, and come on the very lines which would 
discredit them with many people — the lines of strong feeling — of 
love, or hate, or hope, or fear." 

The Mystery of Allan Grale, 177 

Dr. Palmer undertook to see that the walking-stick in possession of 
Maii Ac]and should be brought from Sladford for the meeting. 
And, when Mr. Grale was taking leave, he suddenly asked him whether 
he happened to have with him the Corrabuin label, and those two 
note^—the one asking for money and the other making the appoint- 
ment — ^which were believed to have been written by Edgar Vivian. 
Yes, Mr. Grale had them ; he kept them in his pocket book, which 
never left his person by day and was put under his pillow at night 

"As a great favour, Mr. Grale," said the Doctor, " I ask you to 
leave that label and those notes here for to-night. I wish to make 
them the subject of — an especial study." 

Mr. Grale had no objection. When he was gone. Dr. Palmer sat 
down and waited for the return of his young people, who were out. 
They came in, Charles Carr and Lettice chatting gaily. Calling 
Agnes to him, the Doctor went with her into the laboratory. 

"Agnes," said he, " I want your help in a little experiment : some- 
thing which came into my head while you were all out." 

Agnes had helped her father with many a little experiment. He 
took his loose buttons and his torn gloves to Lettice ; but he always 
called Agnes for his experiments. 

" Very well, papa," she answered, delighted. " What am I to do 

" You are to let me bandage your eyes," he said, suiting the action to 
the word ; "and then you are to try to answer questions I shall ask 
about some things I shall put into your hands." 

"Why, this is like witchcraft," she observed laughingly, as she 
submitted. " Suppose I cannot answer at all, papa?" 

" Then, don't try to," he replied ; " your inability or ability is part 
of the experiment. Sit down, child ; be quite at your ease." 

As she obeyed, he placed in her hands the note Edgar Vivian 
had written asking young Grale to meet him at the Black Pool. 
" What is that ? " he asked 

" A piece of paper," she answered, still laughing. " It seems to 
have been twisted like a note. This does not seem very difficult, 

He put into her hands the label, taken from the box, sent to Corra- 
buin. She lingered longer over that. It was thin paper and had 
suffered somewhat in its joumeyings and its removal It seemed to 
puzzle her a little. 

" Surely this is paper too I " she said. " I think there is writing on 
it It isn't the back of the envelope belonging to the note, is it? No> 
no — that note was twisted, so that it didn't need an envelope. But I 
think this piece of paper has something to do with that note." 

A gleam of satisfaction passed over Dr. Palmer's face. He took 
the label from her, and placed in her hands that other note, apparently 
in the same handwriting, which had asked Mr. Grale for the loan of 
fifty pounds. 

vou XL, N 

lyS TJie Mysiery of Allan Grale. 

" Now, what about this ? " he said, cheerfully. 

" Oh ! how queer 1 " she exclaimed ; " I don't like it ! Is it dirty? 
or, has it belonged to some sick person ? But really, how foolish this 
must seem to you, papa ! " 

" Never mind that," remarked her father ; "go on, say anything 
you think. It may seem foolish to you, but it does not to me." 

" I declare I should not be surprised if this letter came from a 
prison, or a lunatic asylum ! I don't like it in my hand. There ! 
that's all I can say." And she put it down. 

" Now take the three up together, Agnes, and tell me if you know 
them apart, or think they were written by or to the same person, or 
are in any way connected with each other." 

Agnes did as she was directed. But she laid down that third paper 
almost instandy. " That has nothing to do with the others," she said. 
" I'm not sure whether these others have anything to do with each 
other. I should not be surprised if they were written by the same 
person ; they are not disagreeable like the other; they are rather nice. 
But there is something sad about them too. Wait ! " She paused sud- 
denly, turned her blindfold face towards her father, and then cried out 
in a voice of strange agony. 

" Papa ! " 

Dr. Palmer unloosed the bandage instantly, full of compunction for 
what he had done. The truth had flashed upon her ! Aye, and some- 
thing more ! 

" Are they blaming Edgar Vivian for Allan Grale's death, papa ? '' 
she wailed. " Oh papa, papa, it is not true ! However things may 
seem, it can never be true — it can never be true ! " 

" Agnes, my child," said the Doctor, " nobody is blaming any- 
body for anything — yet. How can they, when nothing is known of 
what has really happened ?" 

" But, papa, I have heard a word dropped in the last day or two, 
and I seem to discern all. Is it not true that Allan Grale is now 
thought to be dead — drowned — and that Edgar Vivian is supposed to 
— to have been with him at the last ? Surely they cannot think that 
— ^that " She broke down, sobbing bitterly. 

" Forgive me, my dear," said the Doctor, soothing her ; " I never 
thought of its affecting you like this. It occurred to me to wonder 
whether you could find out any difference among those papers ; I never 
dreamed you would guess that any of them were Edgar Vivian's." 

" It came straight to me," she said, simply ; " I cannot teU how. 
May I see those papers, papa ? " 

" No, my dear," he answered ; "they are not mine to show. They 
are only in my keeping." 

" And who wrote that one which is not Edgar's ?" pursued Agnes. 
She did not seem to fear she might have made a mistake. 

The Doctor was glad to be able to say " I don't know." This was 
quite true, since Edgar denied it. 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 179 

" Then we can't tell whether anything I said about it was true ? " 
she observed. 

Dr. Palmer noticed that she asked no question as to the reasonable- 
ness or the reverse of the sudden alarm which had seized her. Her 
agitation had quickly passed ; but it had left her very pale^ with the 
v.Tuiig expression of one who has just passed through some sharp pain 
or severe shock. 

" I feel terribly tired," she said, a few moments later. " I don't 
vant any supper, papa. I think 111 go straight to bed." 

As she kissed him her good-night, he folded her tenderly in his 
anns, and said : " Does my Agnes quite forgive her foolish old father 
for his silly blundering ? " 

'' Foigive my fether ! " she answered. " He has done me good and 
not evil all the days of my life." 

The more the Doctor thought over his experiment, the less he 
could come to any opinion concerning it He knew well enough 
that Agnes had had some liking for Edgar Vivian, and under all 
circumstances, it was not unnatural that he should have come into her 
mind. But then why had she refused to associate with him the 
very letter which Edgar strenuously denied having written? The 
Doctor shook his head hopelessly. 

\Vhen Mr. Grale asked next day, on the return of the papers, " Did 
you try your experiment, and did you make anything out of it ? " 
Dr. Palmer replied briefly : 

" I tried it ; but the results were nothing that would be of the least 
significance to you." 

"Were they to yourself? " enquired Mr. Grale. 

" I can scarcely say," returned the Doctor. " If anything, they 
confirmed me in my original belief that the letter asking for the fitly 
pounds was not written by Edgar Vivian," 

" Ah," returned Mr. Grale, with a shake of the head, " begging 
your pardon. Doctor, for the remark, there are none so blind as those 
who don't wish to see." 



When Dr. Palmer received Mrs. Grale's formal note of request for 
his company on Saturday afternoon, with that of his daughters, he 
was inclined to hope that Agnes would decline it But she said a 
once that she would go. 

Mark Acland had accepted an invitation to bring the other walking- 
^tick from Sladford himself, and to stay over the Sunday at Dr. 
Palmer's. He arrived with it on Saturday at noon. 

Charles Carr wanted to see him for a reason of his own : he had 
completed the new mechanism on which he had been so busy, and 


i8o The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

he wished to show it to the sympathising comrade of his boyhood, 
before sending it away for practical test 

The new watchmaker's hammer, which he had bought and used, 
was waiting to be returned to Webster, the owner of the one he had 
mislaid ; but Charles had forgotten the man's address. He enquired 
it when sending the intimation to Marie Acland, for it was he who 
wrote, and Mark sent the address back in his note of acceptance. 
Charles at once despatched the instrument to Webster, with a note 
of apology and explanation. 

Dr. Palmer was struck by the change which had come over his 
daughter Agnes. He could not define it It was not a look of 
dignity, or of calmness, or of resignation ; but it was something of al) 
three. There had been no tragedy in the good Doctor's own life. 
It had had a happy morning, happy struggles, happy success, happy 
love ; and shall we be understood if we go on to say, happy sorrow, 
happy pathos, a long happy afternoon ? 

But whatever change might have been noted in Agnes Palmer's 
bearing, nobody but her father was thinking about her, as he and his 
daughters were ushered into the drawing-room at Moorland House. 

They were the latest arrivals. Lady Laura Bond's fly had been 
driven over early, and George Vivian was punctual to the 
appointed hour. There was another person in the room, whose 
identity Dr. Palmer did not clearly apprehend in the murmur 
of hurried introductions. This was an elderly gentleman with a 
freakish-looking flaxen wig. He had a clean-shaven face, young- 
looking from a distance, but scored and counter-scored by hundreds 
of minute wrinkles, which somehow suggested a previous acquaintance 
with rather trying cosmetics. He was talking in a high tieUe to 
George Vivian ; and in a very few remarks he managed to introduce 
the Army, India, and the Continent in a way which suggested a 
personal knowledge of them. Dr. Palmer had scarcely taken time to 
wonder who this individual might be before the young person whom 
the Doctor recognised as the central interest of the group addressed 
him as " Pa." 

The " young person ! " Dr. Palmer read that invidious designation 
in his daughter Agnes's eyes, as they rested, with straightforward doubt 
and disfavour, on the " medium," Miss Bessie Tempest She was a 
little woman, with a slender waist and frisky flaxen curls, which some- 
how looked like her father's wig. She was got up to represent a 
simple young thing, with school-girl frills, and two or three quaint 
little ornaments, such as we find in odd comers of good grandmothers' 
jewel-cases. Nevertheless, Agnes Palmer was quite sure that Miss 
Bessie Tempest was not very much under thirty. 

Afternoon tea was brought in. Miss Bessie whispered something 
to Lady Laura with a laugh. Lady Laura replied that everybody 
here was friendly, and then explained publicly that Miss Bessie had 
questioned the prudence of this little hospitality, since prejudiced 

The Mystery of Allan Grate. i8i 

people had been known to enquire whether some slight refreshment 
vas not usually tendered before stances, or whether the medium might 
not introduce hachish or some similar medicament therein for the 
bewilderment of the senses and the common sense of the lieges. 
"We will all watch you, Bessie," added Lady Laura, in her smoothest 
and sweetest manner. " If anybody has drugged me now, we must 
certainly trace it back to Mrs. Grale's respectable servants." 

"It is not in that way that she will try to cheat us," thought Agnes 
Palmer : and while the rest of the company laughed lightly, she was 

"An uncompromising girl," decided that experienced matron, Lady 
Laura Bond, who was looking at her, ** and we might be better with- 
out her. But how distinguished looking 1 " 

Then Lady Laura availed herself of the introduction which had 
just passed. " I am trying to keep up a little social lightness, Miss 
Palmer," she whispered, " for dearest Mrs. Grale's sake. The novelty 
alone of this assemblage is trying to her nerves : I can see that And 
she has her own terrible fears besides." 

"I cannot think how she can endure such a thing as this," answered 
Agnes, in a low voice, turning her clear eyes on Lady Laura's face, and 
never supposing she was running against opinions. 

" My dear, we must keep everything very smooth and sympathetic 
for her sake," returned Lady Laura, with gentle emphasis. '* I think a jar 
of any sort would be more than she could bear. And we are sure to 
have our reward. A little loving self-restraint generally obtains better 
evidence than the keenest scrutiny." 

Agnes said nothing. She did not like the strangers : she somehow 
suspected them. 

The business of the evening was soon proceeded with. It was 
evident that Mr. Tempest took upon himself the part of master of 
the ceremonies. He and his daughter had a pretty little affectionate 
wrangle over the arrangement of the sitters. He had his own way. 
"I always do," he said. " I know exactly how Bessie's powers must 
be considered, and what is good for her." 

"Poor dear pappy ! " said the little person, " I think you must get 
terribly tired of it" 

" I get the commendation of the spirits," said Mr. Tempest, im- 
pressively, ''and that suffices for me." 

"Who are the spirits ? " asked Agnes of Lady Laura in a whisper. 
She formed her question so, though it had arisen in her own mind as 
" Who are the spirits supposed to be ? " Fancy thinking of her own 
dear dead mother as one of the spirits ! 

"There are some special to any occasion, of course," replied Lady 
Lama, in the same tone. " But Miss Tempest has her own group of 
guardians who are always in attendance." 
"And who are they ? " persisted Agnes. 
" There is one named ' Chang-li,' " said Lady Laura. " He was a 

i82 The Mystery of Allan GrdU. 

Chinese mandarin of the highest rank who lived about two hundred 
years ago. Then there is one who calls himself the 'Young 
Pretender,* he will never tell us plainly whether he is a royal Stuart ; 
but from internal evidence, we think so. And then there is ' Jane 
Shore.* I dare say that will astonish you ; but after a time one gets to 
look differently on these things." 

" So the oracles are a pagan, a prodigal, and a light woman ! " 
Agnes might have thought had she been censorious. " But " — she 
said aloud — " are the guardian spirits ever common people ? People 
who have been in business ; or faithful old family servants ; or any- 
body of that kind ? " 

Lady Laura looked up at her again. She understood all that Agnes 
did not say. " These mediums are doing a great work," she answered, 
rather coldly. " Naturally they attract the influence and care of 
spirits in high place. Common peoj^e, doubtless, have common 
guides. But hush, something is soon to begin%" 

Mr. Grale had now brought forward the two walking-sticks. He 
laid them on the table in the centre of the group. His hand trembled 
a little as he did so, and Mrs. Grale began to cry quietly. 

" Bessie is passing under an influence already," proclaimed Lady 
Laura, in a stage whisper. 

" Keep perfectly quiet," instructed Mr. Tempest, lifting his hand 
'^ My daughter' has not yet lost consciousness. If anything disturbs 
her just now, the whole sitting may be spoiled." 

Lady Laura gave a litde deprecating gesture. Nobody else stin^ 
or spoke ; there was complete silence. 

"Bessie is under control now," said Mr. Tempest, presently. 
" My daughter herself is quite unconscious of all that passes before 
her," he added, in explanation. " I must be always with her under 
these circumstances. Her guides assure me I may entrust her to 
them, yet they applaud my solicitude. If we were to tell Bessie 
any fact now, or make her any promise, we should find that she 
knows nothing whatever about it, upon coming to herself." 

" And what is supposed to become of your daughter's spirit in the 
meantime ? " asked Dr. Palmer. 

" The guides say that they put it into the mesmeric sleep. Some- 
times they leave it so, unconscious ; sometimes they lead it through that 
sleep into higher spheres, whence it returns refreshed and illuminated.^ 

Dr. Palmer could not help thinking that despite these distinguished 
attentions, Miss Bessie Tempest looked but a jaded and frivolous 
creature. Agnes happened to be thinking the same. 

Suddenly the medium stretched out her hand towards the staves. 
Her eyes were not quite closed, but there seemed no speculation in 
them, and indeed no vision, for she groped vainly for the sticks after 
the manner of the blind. She laid hold first of that which young 
Acland had brought from Sladford. She passed her hand down it 
from the ferule to the handle, and then she gave a shiver. 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 183 

" There is some coarse, bad influence here," she muttered. 
" This is certain to be * Jane Shore,* " whispered Lady Laura. " She 
always comes for clairvoyance." 

The medium spoke again ; her hand was now on the other stick, 
.Allan's own crook, with the silver ring. 

" This is strange," she said, fingering it. " It feels cold and strange : 
what can be the meaning? " 

She seemed to ask the question only of herself. Mrs. Grale mur- 
mured that it was quite right ; that it had been lying on the earth for 
months and months. " And," add^d the poor woman, " the ground 
is always damp round the Black Pool." 

"Now, nonsense !" cried Mr. Grale. "It can't be cold through 
that : it has been standing in the sunniest comer of this house for 

" I expect the control alludes to a psychic chill," explained Mr. 
Tempest " But we must not rush to conclusions too readily. Give 
her time." 

She was still groping about the sticks, first one, then the other, as 
if puzzled. The company watched with absorbed interest 

"These do not — I think — ^belong — either of them — to anybody 
here," she slowly said, and the silence of the listeners seemed to give 
a curious expression of assent " I — stay ! — I shall see a form pre- 
sently : — I see a figure already, but too dimly to describe it yet Will 
the friends converse among each other? There is a little want of 
fusion in the mental atmosphere." 
"This is going to be a splendid sitting," Lady Laura whispered. 
" I hope it is not going to be too dreadful," said poor Mrs. Grale. 
" It's wonderful how she seems to know things by the touch. You 
see she did not dislike poor Alny's stick ; only the other one — and 
that, I am sure, never was his." 

George Vivian, at this juncture, was seized with a long, troublesome 
cough. Agnes looked sharply at him, tempted to think that it began 
in a giggle. Anyhow, it went on seriously enough. He tried to 
smother it by holding his pocket-handkerchief to his mouth — Agnes 
noticed that handkerchief of specially fine cambric, with a narrow 
black line running round it just above the hem. It struck her as 
singular that so punctilious a dandy as George Vivian should carry a 
black-edged handkerchief when he was not in mourning. 

"You are quite sure you never said a word about Alny to Miss 
Tempest, Lady Laura ? " pleaded Mrs. Grale. 

"Quite positive," said Lady Laura, decisively. ** Mr. Tempest can 
answer that for me. I have not been alone with Bessie at all ; he 
has been with us entirely. Dear Mrs. Grale, you may believe me. I 
have not spoken upon the subject to either Mr. or Miss Tempest" 

" Certainly not," confirmed Mr. Tempest " It might have a bad 
effect upon my daughter, were she told anything beforehand- — ^would 
be almost sure to take her power away." 

184 The Mystery of Allan Grale* 

" My ! how particular the spirits must be ! " cried Mrs. Grale. 

" Hush ! " said Mr. Tempest : " Hush ! Listen I " 

"The figure is coming into view," the medium was beginning, 
dreamily. " It is a young man. The hair is fair — a lightish brown, 
and a litde curling. The face has a nice colour. It is a pleasant 
face. Now it is growing sad." 

Mrs. Grale was violently agitated. 

" It is standing behind the mistress of the house," went on the 
entranced medium. " It smiles and makes a gesture of affection to- 
wards her. Now the face grows sad again and a litde angry " 

" Oh, not angry with me ! " cried the poor mother. 

"Calm yourself — calm yourself^ dearest friend," Lady Laura en- 
treated of Mrs. Grale : " or we shall not be able to go on." 

" The figure entreats the lady to be calm ; it cannot otherwise com- 
municate," proceeded the medium. " It is fading ! It wishes much 
to say something, but it cannot" 

" All that must mean that Alny is dead ! " wailed the mother. 

" No, no, it need not," said Lady Laura. 

" But it is the spirits of the dead that appear again," uiged the be- 
wildered woman ; " not the spirits of the living." 

" When clairvoyants are in this mesmeric state they can see living 
people at a distance," said Lady Laura. " Perhaps your son — ^if that 
was your son — is at this moment wishing he was with you, or is 
asleep and dreaming of you ! We might have discovered everything 
if you could only have been calm." 

Mrs. Grale made a supreme effort " I'll try to be," she said. 

" The figure is returning," spoke the medium. " It holds a picture. 
Such a gloomy place ! — a dark pool surrounded by trees. He points 
to the water ! " 

Mrs. Grale fairly shrieked. The medium shrieked too — ^and started 
up with extended arms and glaring eyes. 

" This is one of the dangers to which we are always exposed," cried 
Mr. Tempest, in a white heat of suppressed agitation. " Mrs. Grale 
is too excitable, poor lady. She has disturbed my daughter's peculiar 
state, and that is dangerous to the medium. And possibly, too, at the 
same time, my daughter's gift was brought into contact with something 
terrible — when it comes suddenly upon a dead body, for instance, there 
is always a sharp convulsion." 

" Bessie will be taken care of," said Lady Laura, sweedy. " The 
controlling spirits will erase every painful picture from her brain before 
they restore her to herselfl But we must think of dear Mrs. Grale. 
She really must retire." 

" I wiU go with her," said Lettice Palmer, who herself looked a 
little pale and tremulous. 

Poor Mrs. Grale did not object ; she felt too bewildered, too un- 
happy. During the commotion of their withdrawal, the medium half 
awoke, gave a few wailing sobs, and then " went off" again. 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 185 

" Will the friend, controlling, say whether she still sees the figure ? " 
asked Mr. Tempest 

"I do," replied the medium. " But it is changed. He is like an 
image. He conveys to me that it was not by his own will he — ^he — 
what is it he says ? — ^went away ? I think that's it Not by his own 
will he went away." 
" Ha ! " ejaculated Mr. Grale. 

''He won't tell me anything about it," proceeded the medium. 
" He shakes his head. But in the air I see a luminous word. What 
is it ? — * play ? ' Is not that queer ? " 

There was no mistaking the intense interest of the audience, albeit 
the expression of each face was singularly varied. Richard Grale's 
was quite fierce in its suspense. Mr. Tempest glanced round. 
" Is there no word beside? " he said. " This may be some mistake." 
" Is it that we shall ' play music ? ' " suggested Lady Laura. '' The 
controls often ask that, when the sitters need soothing." 
The medium shook her head vigorously. 

" Is there some word to precede * play ? ' " suggested Mr. Tempest 
" Fair play, for instance ? " 

''That's it, that's it," cried the medium. " I see it all now. Two words. 
They are not fair play, but 'foul play.' The figure is &ding — ^it is gone !" 
" May we ask any question ? " enquired Mr. Grale, eagerly. 
" Yes, certainly," said Mr. Tempest ; " only questions cannot be 
always answered." 

" Can the lady tell me anything about a certain box in my posses- 
sion ? " Mr. Grade asked accordingly, with an air of timidity which 
sat upon him strangely. 

" The medium turned her face towards him. " I think I know 
the one you mean," she muttered, after a pause. " I don't like it," she 
" Can you tell me what is in the box ? " 

" Papers," she answered, confidently. Then she added, " I am 
not sure but there are other things also — perhaps jewels." 

" That's good ! " said Mr. Grale. " That's a wonderful test, even 
down to her not being quite sure." 

" I like a test that comes out in that natural, simple way," observed 
Mr. Tempest, smoothing his hands with complacency. 

The medium suddenly rose, and stepped slowly round the table, till 
she reached George Vivian's chair. Amid the rapt attention of all 
present, she put her hand on his shoulder, and said softly : 

" You have a secret sorrow — a trouble, and nobody suspects it 
You do not say I am wrong ? " 
George Vivian, whose head was bent, did not speak. 
"You know I am right," she went on, in the calm, dreamy tone. 
"There are two influences in your life, there are in all lives — but in 
yours, they are both very strong and very distinct One is controlled 
by your bad angel, the other by your good one. The bad one is 

i86 The Mystery of Allan Grale, 

nearest you yet. It seems to you and to many to be an angel ol 
light. But I think it will be soon found out. Have faith in your 
good influence. I see bright days before you — many bright, happy 
years. Tliat shows that the good influence triumphs.*' 

George raised his head, as if he were about to ask a question ; but 
none came from him. 

She moved on to Mr. Grale's chair. Her figure changed curiously, 
so did the very features of her face, and when she spoke her voice had 
a strange foreign twang. 

" Sare," she said, " I have to say to you, * Temp>er justice with 
mercy : ' and believe all hidden things will be made manifest in a 
right way. Dat is all. You are very keen practical man. Do you 
know our great philosopher, Confucius ? You would appreciate him." 

" That is * Chang-li,' " whispered Lady Laura. 

The medium passed on to Dr. Palmer. " Sare," said the queer 
voice, " there is an atmosphere of light and joy about you. There 
is healing in your presence. Our medium has felt it. She might 
have suffered more under the shocks of the present sitting had you 
not been here. People may think they deceive you, because you are 
so wise and far-seeing that you always choose to trust the goodness which 
is in the worst, and which sometimes they do not know themselves." 

The last expression of face and voice were passing. The medium 
put both her hands on Lady Laura's shoulders. 

" Dearest friend," she said, " the spirits bear witness to your cheer- 
ful struggles with the trials you nobly bear in silence. You wiU get 
speedy help over the trouble which is now distressing you. Some of 
those to whom you are always ready to tender the highest light and 
leading will seek out your difficulties and straighten your paths before 
you. Worse than widowed lady, celestial love waits ever on your 
footsteps, and I am but the humble interpreter of influences too lofty 
to communicate directly with earth. They send, by my hand, a string 
of pearls and a cross of gold to the White Dove." 

She went through a form of delivering invisible articles to Lady 
I^ura, who kissed her hand with dramatic fervour and murmured, 
" Your words have never failed me yet" 

The medium then passed on to Agnes Palmer. 

" Maiden," she said, insinuatingly, " have you not any question to 
ask me ? " 

Agnes looked straight at her. What a mean little face it was ! like 
that of a wax doll, on whose insipid commonplace some malicious 
sculptor had graved a few lines expressing cunning and selfishness ! 

" No," said Agnes, " I have nothing whatever to ask." 

The medium drew back a little from the table and puckered her 
brow. " A name is suddenly given me," she said. " I don't know 
what it means. I think it is the name of somebody in the room." 

" What is it ? " asked Mr. Grale, eagerly. 

" Some of the letters come and go," she said, seeming to trace them 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 187 

with her finger on the atmosphere. "ED G , yes, Edgar. 

Then there are two V's in the other name Viv — ^Vivian. Do 

you know who that is ? " 

Agnes's £au:e was white and still as marble. George Vivian spoke. 

" Yes ; that is my younger brother," he said. He was evidently 

''My son Allan's latest confidant," said Mr. Grale. There was 
not much in the words, but there was a great deal in the tone ; and 
George, who (wrapt in his own affairs and in his attendance on the 
General) was profoundly ignorant of what had been going on around 
him for some months past, looked at his old neighbour in surprise. 

"The influence is passing!" exclaimed Mr. Tempest "But it 
has been an unusually protracted sitting, and I think I may say suc- 
cessful — ^yes, successful, though most painful" 

'* Poor Mrs. Grale," sighed Lady Laura. " Dear Bessie," she 
added, kissing the medium, who was now looking around as if half 
awake and bewildered, " you have told us wonderful things. We were 
so afraid, for you grew agitated in speaking words that seemed to in- 
timate this poor young gentleman is lying in some terrible dark water." 

•* The Black Pool," spoke Mr. Grale, harshly. 

'*• Oh, I never said so, did I ? " asked the medium, in apparent 
alarm. *' Oh, but you must remember that you may have misunder- 
stood me I Did I speak in figures, pa, as you say I generally do ? " 

** Yes, my dear, you did," answered pompous Mr. Tempest. 

Everybody had pushed back their chairs with a certain sense of 
relief. The doors had been set open, and the servants were coming 
in with wine and sundry light refreshments ordered to be in readiness. 
There was James, who had known too much from the beginning, 
and there was Susan as ready to hear as to speak. 

" Where is Mrs. Grale ? " asked the medium. 

" She had to go away," said Lady Laura. " It was too much for her." 

" Oh, I am so sorry ! " lamented Miss Tempest " Did the control 
say anything very sad ? " 

" It gave the word * foul play,' " said Mr. Grale, in the same ominous 

" Do you know of any water answering the description given by the 
control ? " asked Mr. Tempest 

" Yes," answered Mr. Grale. " The Black Pool ; a place near here." 

" Would you care to have it dragged ? " enquired Mr. Tempest. 
" It might be a singular testimony," he added, only half aloud. 

" It is very deep," replied Mr.. Grale. "But it might be done — 
money would do it" 

" Ah, you rich people, who can dare to say this shall be done, and 
that shall be done," sighed Lady Launu 

" Was it not singular that your brother's name should be introduced, 
Mr. George? " whispered Mary Anne Grale, aside. She had felt her- 
self rather overlooked during the sitting, but she firmly believed she 

i88 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

must be that " good influence '' which had been indicated to George, 
and so was comforted. " And was there really any meaning in the 
wonderful things which were said to you ? " 

" It was strange to bring in poor old Edgar," Geoige answered 
** There was nothing very wonderful said to me." 

" About the secret sorrow ? " whispered Mary Anne. 

" Yes, that was a fortunate hit ; but all the rest about the influences 
was mere twaddle," he replied, rather restively. 

" Perhaps you ifail to recognise its truth," gently said Mary Anne. 

By this time they were all making preparations for departure, in- 
tending not to disturb Mrs. Grale. With as much gallantry as he 
oould command, Mr. Grale prepared to hand her ladyship to her hired 
carriage. From what had passed, it seemed that poor Lady Laura 
was not without her own difficulties. " Aristocratic shoes often pinch," 
said homely Mr. Grale to himself, and added aloud : " You seem to 
have good friends among the spirits. Lady Laura." 

" I need them," she replied sadly, " I have few earthly ones." 

*' Well, well," said the manufacturer, " I'm but a plain man, and if 
I put it bluntly, you must excuse me. But I take it very kindly that 
your ladyship has tried to do so much for me, and if ever — ^if there's 
anything I could advise you on, or help you in, you've only to say 
the word, and Richard Grale is at your service." 

Lady Laura raised her dark liquid eyes. " How can I thank you ! " 
she said. " My spirit friends are true prophets. Your generous offer 
has not come too soon, for, indeed, I need such a friend. I shall take 
Che liberty of writing a letter to you to-morrow, Mr. Grale, explaining 
certain circumstances to you." 

" That's right," responded Mr. Grale. " I like to be taken at my 
word. Yes, the spirits do seem to know a thing or two. There's few 
would have said I could appreciate a philosopher." 

" Of course," said Lady Laura, rather absently. " Dear Mr. Grale," 
she added, " when you hear my distresses, you must not trouble your 
good wife with them. She has enough sorrow of her own just now, 
without making her sensitive soul bleed for a friend." 

" Sometimes it does people good to find that others beside them- 
selves have something to bear," returned Mr. Grale : " but it shall be 
exactly as you wish, Lady Laura." 

The Palmers and George Vivian were hastening along the twilight 
road. George had offered his arm to Lettice, and they were talking 
gaily. Agnes was clinging to her father, and between them there 
was perfect silence. 

'^ Agnes," said the Doctor at last, " I want to hear what you think 
about it all? Was it unaccountable truth? or was it deep-laid 
trickery ? " 

(To be continued,) 

1 89 


By G. B. Stuart. 
" p OOD-MORNING, Miss Verey; I thought I would just look 

^ round and see if you were indined to come out." 

"Come out ! Isn't it pouring with rain ? " 

" Why, yes, to be sure, so it is 1 Well, may I come in, then ? " 

" Come in, by all means, but shake yourself well first in the halL 
Now," as Harry Tredennick disappeared from the window and entered 
by the front door, which at Myrtle Bank stands wide open all the 
lodging-letting season : " take the paper, or put my work-box in order, 
or look at Comhill till I have finished my letter, and then we can 
make some plans." 

The young man sat down with the paper held suggestively in front 
of him, but his eyes looked unblinkingly over the top of it at Miss 
Verey. He was not much of a reader, at the best of times, and would 
not think of so employing himself except under severe pressure. 

Kate Verey went on writing : " The one young man of this 
benighted place has just dropped in to call, for the fourth time since 
Sunday." — ^This was such a telling way of winding up her letter ; so 
much more effective than " The post is just going," or " Mamma is 
calling me to make tea." — " He is a kind of giant, who lives in these 
solitudes," she went on, to her friend, Mrs. Chamberlain; "fairly good- 
looking and well-mannered, only rather a bore about incessant sight- 
seeing. I believe he has a baronetcy somewhere in the back- 
ground. Now, don't go and repeat all this to Captain Anstey the 
next time you are hard up for conversation, or he will be sure to say 
something nasty and sarcastic about my summer at the seaside ! By- 
ihe-bye, is he going to do any yachting this year ? " 

Mrs. Chamberlain was Kate Verey's dearest friend ; Captain Anstey 
was her cousin and her guest ; and Kate herself was the prettiest and 
most whimsical girl in their set, who, instead of going visiting among 
her friends after the London season was over, as all properly disposed 
girls would have done, insisted on carrying her mother off to a remote 
South Coast fishing-village for the two months of autumn which 
should, canonically, be spent in Scotland. Whether she repented her 
freak, and whether she really wished the end of her letter to be pre- 
served from Captain Anstey's knowledge, I leave the reader to de- 

"There ! that's done," said Kate, looking up and catching her visitor's 
round grey eyes fixed upon her, which disconcerted the " kind of 
giant" much more than the London-bred young lady. " Anything in 
the paper this morning ? ' 

igo A Country Heart, 

" I wasn't reading — I mean I don't think so — ^yes there is, though ; 
a seal came ashore at Polkeny. Would you," very diffidently, " like to 
hear about it ? " 

" Oh, no, not for the world ! Isn't there any cholera news, or any 
military and naval appointments, or anything about people one 
knows ? " 

" The Rev. John and Mrs. Cannody and family at Sea View ; the 
Misses Peach at i. Marine Parade; Mrs. and Miss " 

" Oh, stop, stop, for goodness' sake ! I thought you had the jPost, 
not that dreadful local story-teller. Just see if there are any yachts 
in, and then we will decide what is to be done with to-day." 

" The Aramintay Mr. Seagrave, gone on to Weymouth ; the 

Waterbaby^ Captain Harrison, and the Jessamine^ Mr. Lockhart, for 

Cowes; the Elinore^ Hon. Charles Burke, put in here to coal. 

She's that big, hulking thing lying half across the harbour. — I don't 

see any fun in steam yachting." 

Miss Verey's interest in the yachts was not very great, for she only 
answered : " Is that all ? " and looking across at the bay, which lay 
below the window : " I think it's clearing " she said. " I'll go and see 
what mamma is doing, and tell her we are going out I want 
a hundred things in the town, and you can come and carry them 
for me." 

These two young people had grown very friendly during the month 
that the Vereys had spent at Myrtle Bank. The young lady was the 
elder by two or three years, and by all the experience of life, from 
childhood, in London Society. Harry Tredennick knew Mrs. Briscoe, 
the parson's wife of the neighbourhood, old Madam Tredennick, his 
own grandmother, and her attendant. Miss Meux, and perhaps half a 
dozen young ladies of Torferry ; good, red-cheeked, rather shapeless 
young women of a pattern well-known in this and other country 
localities. Here his experience of the fair sex came to an end. Miss 
Verey knew, or appeared to know, the whole Army and Navy, the Bar 
and the Church, the ins and outs of both Universities ; not to speak 
of diplomatic circles, political circles, aristocratic circles, theatrical 
circles — ^widening out indefinitely into the vast ocean of society, 
which used to make young Tredennick by turns rabidly restless or 
dolefully dissatisfied with himself and his surroundings, wishing that 
this world of which he knew so little and Miss Verey so much, had 
but one head to be smitten off at a blow. 

For, of course, the soldiers and sailors, lawyers and curates, with 
dukes, peers and bigwigs of all sorts must be in love with her. How 
could it be otherwise, when Harry Tredennick, who had never cared 
to look at a woman before in his life, had been so completely van- 
quished by her charms the first moment he saw her in Torfen)* 
church? The tall, white-clad figure whom the old sexton handed 
ostentatiously up to the top of the church, just as Mr. Briscoe began 
the service, was as different in face and style and raiment from the 

A Country Heart. 191 

usual run of Torferry girls as a denizen from another planet could 
have been. 

Half the girls in the place had white gowns for Sundays, but this 
one neither stuck out in front through too much starch, nor dropped 
down on the sides for lack of it ; it hung in some mysterious grace- 
ful way which made it look just the right thing for the old country 
church and the blazing August day. There were lilac touches about 
it too; not aggressive bows and ends, but suspicions of colour at 
once cool and gay, and a shady hat with some white muslin round it, 
which Mrs. Briscoe afterwards in vain tried to achieve for her two 
half-grown girls with three or four yards of the finest muslin to be 
had in the town, and a dozen of lace that you would scarcely have 
known to be imitation ! 

Bond Street had twisted the muslin on Miss Verey's hat, and Regent 

Street had fashioned the inimitable simpUcity of her dress, and both 

went to set off a face and figure which all modistes agreed it was a 

pleasure to decorate. No wonder Harry Tredennick, facing down the 

church from the Squire's square pew alongside the altar, heard little 

of service or sermon, and went near to forgetting his weekly duty of 

arrying round the oflfertory bag. He had never felt shy about this 

duty before, but somehow on this Sunday he half wished that Mark 

Rowe, the Briscoe*s factotum, would collect both sides ; it seemed 

such a boyish thing for the " young squire " to be doing — as if he were 

still Briscoe's pupil, as he had been a few years ago, when the custom 

arose. However, as one side of the church was evidently awaiting 

him and his bag, he was forced to go through with it, receiving the 

sticky pennies, and the elusive threepenny pieces which had 

been cherished all the morning in the palms of cotton gloves or the 

knotted comers of handkerchiefs, and a shilling from the stranger lady, 

who did not seem a bit flustered by the presentation of the red velvet 

watch pocket. Harry stood staring at her hand, with its long wrinkled 

glove, the ruffles of lace above, where a little rim of white arm 

gleamed, and the wonderful serpentine twists of gold bracelet Miss 

Verey had handed him back the bag and in another moment she 

looked at him inquiringly, wondering why he still delayed. The boy 

turned crimson and hurried on, he hardly knew how. The lady only 

thought : " What a good-looking boy ; reading with the clergyman 

most likely. He will do for boating." 

After this first encounter, the next step was not difficult where the 
young man had the " Tredennick will," and the young lady was bored, 
and consequently accessible. The Briscoes called at Myrtle Bank 
on the London ladies, and Miss Verey returned the visit on be- 
half of her mother, and having brought no umbrella, was very glad 
to accept Mr. Tredennick's escort back, when a sudden storm caught 
her a few steps from the vicarage, where Mr. Tredennick and his 
umbrella had been lying in wait He did not see any need to ex- 
plain, but he knew the climate sufficiently to be on his guard even on 

192 A Country Heart. 

an apparently fine day, and an introduction was easily effected, Miss 
Verey graciously saying she had heard of him from his old friend 
Mrs. Briscoe. 

Under the umbrella, which the young man was obliged to hold (so 
strong is the wind in this locality when a sudden squall arises !) Harry 
Tredennick found himself most wonderfully at his ease, considering 
that he had never in all his twenty years held a tete-k-t^te with a 
pretty girl before. Perhaps it was the girl's doing that they so soon 
made friends, for as every intelligent woman knows there is no surer 
way of gaining a young man's admiration than by leading him un- 
consciously on to his own strongest ground. Kate Verey could no 
more help trying to make every man she met like her than she could 
help her hair curling. Consequently her tact led her to talk of the 
country and the coast, where Hany Tredennick was as much at home 
as a young seaman ; of the Park, where his grandmother lived (Miss 
Verey had heard of " Madam " in Torferry, and knew that " the 
family " had been squires of Tredennick for six hundred years) ; of the 
Tors and moors and coves that she should like to see in the neigh- 
bourhood, but scarcely knew how to compass. 

By the time they had reached Myrtle Bank, half a mile above the 
town, the infatuated young native had promised rows, sails, drives, 
rides in every direction, and Miss Verey with the mental note, 
" Mamma can't mind such a boy as this," had accepted some of the 
proposed excursions conditionally on Mr. Tredennick's coming in then 
and there and being introduced to her mother. 

Then, as the rain continued, as it has a way of doing at Torferry, 
tea was brought in, and Mr. Tredennick must stay and have some, and 
the rapid friendship was cemented over the kettle-boiling, and the fire 
lighting and the toasting ; for a sudden wet day in a lodging demands 
a fire and hot toast most imperatively. And when poor Hany at last 
tore himself away, half an hour short of his grandmother's dinner 
time, he was as sincerely in love with the London lady as ever any 
poor boy in this world has been with his first love, three years his 

" Don't tease the poor lad, Kate," said old Mrs. Verey, looking up 
from her novel when he was gone. "He is but a. boy, and a very 
simple one, and it is scarcely fair to treat him like a man." 

"Gracious, mother ! that great big creature can look after himself; 
but I will treat him quite as a boy, I promise you." 

And so she did, with a misleading frankness which was more 
dangerous to Harry's peace of mind than more subtle coquetries 
which might have puzzled and confused him. And from this artless 
boy-and-girl camaraderie, which Harry found so enchantingly real, 
and Kate so amusingly fresh, arose the friendly footing of a/&irs 
described in Kate's letter to Mrs. Chamberlain : " the young man has 
dropped in to call, for the fourth time since Sunday. — He rather 
bores me about incessant sight-seeing." 

A Country Heart. 193 


Kate came down equipped for her walk. Harry had seen her in 
many costumes since the memorable white dress on that first Sunday, 
and each toilette, as it appeared from the arched travelling trunks 
above, seemed more marvellous and more becoming than the last 

But Kate's precaution against the rain threw all her other bewitch- 
ments into the shade. The costume for wet weather which had held 
good in Torferry from time immemorial was a long, circular waterproof 
cloak of brown or iron-grey. But this young lady from I^ndon had 
a real Redfem-cut " Newmarket," of darkest blue waterproof cloth, 
and a wonderful little yachting cap with a peak, under which the 
yellow curls twisted distractingly, as they had a way of doing in rainy 
weather : the serge skirts were short enough to clear the neat lace-up 
boots, and the slender hands, as shapely as the feet, were clad in dog- 
skin gloves. 

I am afraid Harry stared rather more openly even than usual at 
this coquettish apparition, for Kate stopped in front of him and asked 
in all seriousness : 

" What is there wrong with me ? Don't mind saying. Am I crooked 
or anything ? " 

Tredennick was a shy young fellow, despite his gigantic size, and 
had not been brought up to know that nowadays any young man 
may openly tell any young lady she is good-looking to her face and 
without preamble, so he could think of no answer beyond, " Oh, you're 
all right" But his handsome grey eyes expressed something more, 
for even Kate, with all her experience, could not help flushing a 
little under their honest and evident admiration. 

" Come along or we shall be late, and mamma has given me a 
dozen more commissions. I hope this is not the afternoon when all 
Torfeny shuts itself up early and goes out to walk with its young 
man ! " 

Hxuxily are the careless words spoken than Kate feels rather than 
sees — for she is looking at her own pretty boots stepping down the 
wet path — ^that her companion is blushing hotly all over his fair skin 
and to the edge of the sunburnt neck which shows above his blue 
serge collar. She deftly changes the subject, inwardly laughing a little 
to herself that perhaps the young Squire has been joked, or, perhaps, 
even called to account for his infatuation at Myrtle Bank ; while he is 
only conscious of Mrs. Briscoe's recent warnings against making him- 
self and Miss Verey conspicuous, and his grandmother's contemptuous 
refusal to call on the London ladies, when he had at last screwed up 
his courage to demand outright what he had been hinting at for the 
last three weeks. 

" Even if you forget you are a Tredennick, you may be sure these 
friends of yours do not," she had said, significantly. And Harry had 
there and then banged off to see the loveliest and dearest of her sex, 
the only woman he ever could or would love, anathematising the 

VOL. XL. o 

194 ^ Cotmiry Heart. 

ridiculous will of the old Squire, which left him under his grand- 
mother's guardianship till his five-and-twentieth year. 

Amongst one of the terrors of his childhood which poor motherless 
Harry Tredennick had learnt to hate was his grandmother's quarterly 
descents upon Torferry " for shopping," when the old, close carriage 
was in requisition, with both windows up, and Madam drove down to 
the town and spent the afternoon driving from one shop to another, 
harrying the shop people and abusing their wares. Harry, who was 
of a naturally peaceable, even, polite disposition, hated being taken 
on these outings, and as he grew older used to try and mollify the 
feelings of the tradespeople by being particularly civil on his own 
account and keeping particularly clear of the town altogether on the 
occasions of " Madam's " periodical visits. But shopping with Kate 
\''erey was quite another thing. In fact it was an exquisite entertain- 
ment, which Harry did not know Torferry town was capable of 

First of all, there was the dairywoman to interview. 

" Mrs. Tubbs, how is it that the last two junkets have been so 
much smaller than those we began with? " And Mrs. Tubbs makes 
answer, rolling up her arms in her apron and dropping her words 
very carefully and slowly : " Well, tu be sure, Miss, I knew they were 
tu sma'al, but indeed them fulish calves hav* been a-lapping up a'al 
the milk, and I says to Tubbs, they Lunnon ladies have such sma'al 
appetites, they du " 

"Now, Mrs. Tubbs," said Kate, severely, "you know that isn't 
fair ! You must choose between either me or the calves. I can get 
as good a junket from Mrs. Hooper " 

" Don't yer speak of her, miss," cried the repentant Tubbs, who 
answered to the spur in a moment. " Her's as messy a hand about a 
dairy as I shouldn't like yu to touch a junket from." With which 
enigmatical criticism on her vis-k-vis, Mrs. Hooper, she promised a 
noticeable amendment in the size of the next junket, and parted from 
her customer with profound respect for the " Lunnon lady " who had 
detected the reduced quantity so cleverly. 

" It's a ninepenny junket," explained Kate, laughing, " and we 
have it all times and seasons, a dozen times a-week, for mamma and 
I both adore it. Mrs. Tubbs sends it up in a lovely old china bowl. 
Biit when I began to notice that the wreath of flowers, painted round 
the inside edge, was every time becoming more and more visible, 
while at first not a sign of it showed above the cream, I determined 
I would try what effect a judicious reference to Mrs. Hooper would 
have on my diminishing delicacy. Now, come on to Tucker's, and 
see if that hopeful young man has got me my blue silk at last" 

The long-expected London parcel had arrived, so Tucker was able 
to supply the dark blue knitting silk which Miss Verey was working 
up into the most dandified gentleman's socks that Harry had ever seen. 
He had not dared to ask for whom they were intended, though he had 

A Country Heart. 195 

watched their progress with intense interest, and was never so pleased 
as when their rapid growth required his services to hold another skein 
while Kate wound it He possessed himself of the parcel now, and 
followed to the post-office, hurrying in to ask for the Myrtle Bank 
letters, by the second and undelivered mail, while Miss Verey 
remained outside chatting to Mrs. Briscoe, who, in spite of the 
damp, had been to call on the Rev. John and Mrs. Cannody, 
and welcome them to Torferry, in the hopes of getting a sermon or 
two out of them for her consumptive husband before the season was 
over. She had been rewarded by liberal promises of help from the 
gratified parson ; and now, by meeting face to face the young lady 
with whom it was said young Harry Tredennick was making 
himself a great fool, Mrs. Briscoe, who was a kind-hearted, foolish, 
and intensely meddlesome lady, equally inclined to ''gush" as 
to take ready offence, was **just a little bit" surprised. You 
know that her own overtures of friendship had not been as readily 
responded to as the young Squire's. Besides, she had an un- 
acknowledged grudge against Miss Verey in the shape of several 
yards of tumbled white book-muslin, which had come to nothing 
as hat trimming, and was not even available for window-blinds. 
So no wonder that the little woman felt inclined for a scrimmage 
with the audacious stranger, and accosted her in a tone of virtuous 
hostility as she approached, and Harry Tredennick, lifting his hat, 
disappeared into the post-office. 

Miss Verey, on her side, had no particular feelings of any sort for 
the Rectoress of Torferry, whom she found a dowdy little inquisitive 
person, and whose absorption in her neighbours' affairs she could not 
at all comprehend. But she had no objection to stand and chat with 
her in the middle of the High Street, especially when the party from 
^tElifwre^ the big steam yacht in the harbour, had just come ashore, 
and was also making for the post-office. Three men, in yachting 
dress, glanced approvingly at Kate Verey as they passed, and the last 
of them lifted his hat, half hesitatingly, as he looked a second time at 
the young lady, and she recognised him with a stately but gracious 

" A friend of yours ? " gasped Mrs. Briscoe, so audibly that the 
gentleman must have heard. 

Kate waited calmly till he had entered the swing door of the office, 
and then turning to the lady, answered : " Oh, yes ; otherwise I should 
not have bowed ! " 

Mrs. Briscoe felt herself snubbed, and her colour rose ; she rushed 
incontinendy into the battle. 

" I'm glad if some of your own friends are coming down to see 
you while you are here ; it will give Henry Tredennick time to attend 
to his reading. My husband says he has been quite idle lately, and 
will have no chance of his examination in October unless all this — 
well — dangling about, was the Rector's expression — comes to an end.'* 

ig6 A Country Heart, 

Then, as Miss Verey did not speak : " You know, my dear girl, in ai 
litde place like this, people wi/i take notice of such a very marked 
flirtation, and Henry Tredennick being the squire, and your mother 
such a very old lady." 

Here Mrs. Briscoe got terribly confused, for the girl had slowly 
turned her face full on her, and was waiting to reply. 

" Good afternoon," was all she said, however ; and crossing the 
street, she joined Harry Tredennick, who was pushing out of the post- 
office with more letters and papers in his hands than he or his grand- 
mother ever received at the Park in a month. 

" Stop a moment," she said, " there is a gentleman in here I want 
to speak to." And when Httle Mr. Verriker emerged he was quite 
astonished at the friendly greeting he got from the exclusive Mis& 
Verey, with whom in town he was but slightly acquainted. 

Mrs. Briscoe, burning with her rebuff, had retreated upon the 
Misses Peach, of Marine Parade, whose diffident umbrellas came 
bobbing round the comer at the minute. But she could see the 
group at the post-office quite well : the animated girl and the pleased 
face of her London friend, Harry standing by, with the letters and 
parcels, looking down from his superior height in unconcealed jealousy 
of the new comer : the Hon. Charles Burke, and his other shipmate, 
minutely examining a case of nail-brushes in the chemist's window 
opposite, which, being of plate-glass, gave a very fair reflection c/ 
"Verriker's last ! " 

The young lady had positively nothing to say to Mr. Verriker when 
she addressed him ; but a vehement desire to repay Mrs. Briscoe 
for her unwarrantable impertinence possessed her, and she guessed 
that this would have the desired eflect. Accordingly, some questions 
about the yachting and some mutual friends were easily started, and 
Verriker began eagerly to regret that their racing engagements 
necessitated an immediate start for Falmouth directly the coaling 
was over. "Otherwise, Fm sure, Burke — let me introduce Mr. 
Burke to you, Miss Verey — would have been only too proud to take 
you and your people round to Torquay, if you cared about sailing. 
Is Mrs. Chamberlain with you ? " 

" You are very good," answered Kate, bowing to the Honourable 
Charles, who had now openly given over the study of the nail-brushes, 
and had drawn himself into the principal group. 

''No, alas, Mrs. Chamberlain is in the north. No rural delights 
that I could urge would tempt her from home so near the 1 2th. I 
don't think the day would be observed at all in Scotland if she were 
known not to be at Invertocher, but would just be passed over un- 

This was said to Mr. Burke, who had intimated, by a smile of in- 
telligence, that he, too, knew Mrs. Chamberlain. Mr. Verriker, 
anxious to reassert his claim of prior acquaintance, here broke in. 
" Anstey, her cousin, is at Falmouth : we are going round to meet 

A Cotmtry Heart, 197 

him. He has the Halcyon this year, Westerton's old boat You 
know him, of course ? " 

"Captain Anstey ? Oh yes. Well, I must be going, and wish you 
a very pleasant cruise, and good luck in the racing to-morrow. Are 
you going to race the Halcyon^ did you say ? Tell Captain Anstey, 
if you think of it, that you met me here, and that I am not a bit dull : 
lie had better come round and see." 

Miss Verey signed a little imperiously to Harry that she was ready 
to turn homewards, and sailed down the street, without another glance 
in the direction of Mrs. Briscoe's shepherd's plaid waterproof. 

"Ill-mannered, fast chit," muttered that lady to herself, hastily 
quitting the Misses Peach. " If she hadn't flounced off, at a tangent, 
about nothing at all, she might have introduced those men to me, 
and I dare say they would have contributed something handsome for 
the infants' treat, if I had sent Mark Rowe on board with the col- 
lecting book." 

Meanwhile Kate had declared that her other purchases and errands 
were of no account, and that she would rather finish the afternoon 
by a good walk than by poking in the town any longer ; to which Harry 
gladly assented : his disconsolate face clearing rapidly as they left the 
streets, with their hideous possibilities of old friends and London men 
behind, and got into the open country, where he always felt himself to 
be at so much greater advantage. Then with the sea breeze in his 
6ce, and the young blood leaping pleasantly in his veins, as he and 
Kate kept pace together along the fresh sandy road, he made bold to 
proffer a request which had been in his head for some time, and had 
now taken shape as a plan which only wanted the seal of Miss Verey's 

" Next week I want you to come out for a whole day's boating. 
Vou said you would like to see the Giant Stones, and you have scarcely 
given the Mermaid a fair trial yet. Don't refuse me, for it's my birth- 
day — my twenty-first ; and you know other fellows have no end of 
a fuss made over them when they come of age ; while I am tied on to 
Madam's apron-strings for another four years. I'll tell you what, we'll 
take your mother round to Shepstone, where some tenants of ours 
bve a farm close by the shore, and we can leave her safely there with 
her books, and order dinner ; and then I can take you for a good sail, 
^d we can come back and make a regular feast of it ! Don't deny 
me the treat I have set my heart upon ! I've been planning it for 
ever so long, and" — ^pathetically — "just think what a lonely life I lead 
•and how few pleasures I have ! " 

Kate laughed and turned to look at the eager young face beside 
her. Her own thoughts had been far away as he talked, but she was 
aware that he was proposing some expedition, which would lose all its 
<^nn unless she countenanced it. 

" Oh yes ! we'll come, of course," she assented. " Any day you 
iike to settle." 

igS A Country Heart, 

" The day is a particular one," he explained again. " You must 
not forget it — next Tuesday, the 22nd of August" 

" All right Your birthday, is it ? Then 111 be certain to remember 
it, and your coming of age shall be properly celebrated. I promise 
you, in spite of your grandmother and your late respected gcand£ather, 
and all the lawyers in Lincoln's Inn. By-the-bye," she continued, 
" do you know that Mrs. Briscoe has been lecturing me about making 
and keeping you idle, and interfering with your reading with the 
Rector ? She even went so far as to say that there was a marked 
flirtation ! Tell me, Mr. Tredennick, are you flirting with me ? For 
if so, I shall be obliged to send for some of my friends — Mr. Verriker 
would do — and get them to shoot you ! " 

She had promised her mother she would treat him quite as a boy ; 
and the careless words meant nothing to her ; nor did they need the 
emphatic, " Good heavens, no ! " with which Harry Tredennick re- 
pudiated the idea, half to himself, and with a blush on his brown 
cheeks, which almost belied his twenty-one years. 

" Then you'll recollect Tuesday ; and I will see you again and 
arrange about meeting, and all that, between this and then ; and you'll 
get your mother to agree to Shepstone, for I want you for the whole 

So they parted at the Myrtle Bank gate ; the boy full of the 
pleasantest hopes ; the girl, with a heart so joyfully resting on a happy 
certainty, which had nothing whatever to do with Torferry or Harry 
Tredennick, that the latter's cherished plan made as little impression 
on her mind as Mrs. Briscoe's rude words or Mr. Verriker's polite 
ones. For was not Gerard Anstey coming south, as he had hinted he 
should do, and as she had hundreds and hundreds of times assured 
herself he would or would not do, according as she was in a hopeful 
mood or the reverse. 

Poor Harry Tredennick ! had he known it, he and his birthday 
party had little to do with the girl's gay spirits and saucy speeches. 

"You had better not come to fetch us," she called after him, "but 
give us the rendezvous somewhere remote down the coast, so that 
our movements may baffle your Tutoress." 

And so saying, she turned into the house, and straightway foigot 
all about the young Squire. 


It was the brightest, most sparkling morning imaginable The sea 
was blue in the distance, but molten gold where the Halcyon sprang 
through the sunshine which lay across Torferry Bay. Kate Verey 
and Gerard Anstey were leaning against the side, watching the clean 
furrow she left along the smooth water — at least, the girl's eyes 
wandered along the track, but the man's were fixed upon her fece. 
Mrs. Verey, with her pillows and novels, was piled conveniently out of 
hearing. Captain Anstey was a masterful looking man. He was 

A Country Heart. 199 

evidently having his say; the say which he had come all the way from 
Scotland to " have out " with Kate Verey ; and very soon both her 
hands found their way into his, and her eyes roved no longer along 
the sunlit furrow, but looked straight up into his dark face, and the 
compact was completed. Presently he puts his hand into his waist- 
coat pocket and draws forth a tiny parcel ; a diamond ring with a 
broad gold setting. 

" Look inside," and he holds it slanting so that she can read the 
letters engraved within — "G. and K., 22nd August, 1882" — and 
then he slips the ring on to her third finger. 

" 2 2nd of August ! Why, that is to-day. How did you come to 
know that we , that is that I ?" She stops in confusion. 

" How did I know that we should want an engagement ring this 
very day ? Because I had made up my mind, and was not going to 
take any refusal," he answers ; and Kate thinks that a masterful lover 
is the most delightful thing in the world. 

" Of course you knew for certain I was here," she goes on, with 
her old desire to tease this confident person reviving in her. " But 
suppose I had been out, or ill, or at a picnic, and we had not met for 
a day or two, after all ; what would you have done with your 2 2nd of 
August? Good gracious!" — as the repeated date touched some 
hitherto slumbering chord of memory — " it is that poor boy's birth- 
day, and I promised a week ago to keep it with him. Now, what will 
he think of me ? What have I done ? How could I forget it so 
completely ? " 

And she looks really so discomforted and confused that Captain 
Anstey stares, and answers : 

" What can it matter what any boy thinks of you ? Tell him, who- 
ever he is, that you had more important things to think about, and 
then take him to the cake shop in Torferry, and give hira a feed to 
make up. Or I'll tip him, if you like." 

But these liberal ideas of consolation fail to comfort Kate for her 
careless treatment of her poor young friend. She feels as if a chill 
cloud had suddenly come over the perfect day, and again and again 
her thoughts will recur to poor Harry's disappointment, in spite of 
Gerard Anstey's attentions. He naturally thinks himself the hero of 
the hour, and cannot imagine why Kate should waste any considera- 
tion over the feelings of a boy (as far as Captain Anstey recollects, 
there are many very easy ways of assuaging a boy's wounded feelings) 
and his fiancee does not think necessary to explain that this boy is a 
head and shoulders taller than the Captain, and has quite as fmc a 


Meanwhile the young Squire has wakened with the thought that 
the pleasantest day of his life has dawned ; a day of which, in spite 
of Fate in the shape of Madam Tredennick, he means to be com- 

200 A Country Heart. 

pkte master — ^a day which is to be only sunshine, and which is to 
throw a foretaste of radiance over all the coming years of his life. 
He has scarcely seen Kate to speak to since the day he had accom- 
l^anied her into Torferry, but he had been twice over to Shepstone 
preparing for her reception at the farmhouse, and he thought with 
pride of all the preparations for her and her mother's comfort. 
There was a real Devonshire dinner provided, which would have 
served to feed a dozen hungry troopers; ducks, and plum tart, a 
junket, and unlimited cream. He hoped the London ladies would 
be able to put up with Mrs. Loveys' country cooking and service. 
Her crockery and glass he had supplemented with contributions from 
the Park, surreptitiously abstracted and brought down in the 
Mermaid beforehand. 

And the final instructions, how Mrs. and Miss Verey were to meet 
him at the landing stage where the little Mermaid lay, with all her 
glory of new cushions, were conveyed to Kate in a note, which it 
cost Harry some time and pains to compose ; for, besides being some- 
what inapt with his pen, it was the first time he had ever written to 
this girl who was so gracious, so beneficent to him, giving him her 
attention, her brightest smiles, her kindest words, he almost fancied 
her love. If she did not love him already she should do so soon — 
she, who w^as so quick, must know what crowning boon was to make 
his twenty-first birthday perfect, what birthday gift he was going to 
ask at her hands. 

And this note was lying unopened with a heap of other uninter- 
esting correspondence on Miss Verey's dressing-table, where she had 
tossed it down among the Graphics and Punchs which were weekly 
forwarded by Mrs. Chamberlain : for had not Captain Anstey's card 
been brought to her at the same moment, and was not the card 
followed by the owner? 

Harry had left the note to be sent to Myrtle Bank on that Monday 
afternoon when he rode out to Shepstone to make his final prepara- 
tions ; to settle some deck chairs in the orchard, where Mrs. Loveys 
was to spread afternoon tea. And Kate Verey tossed it aside un- 
noticed, as she recognised her lover's footstep on the gravel under the 
bedroom window, and then heard the sharp tinkle of the door bell, 
and the opening and shutting of the drawing-room door, the hurried 
scuffle of the maidservant on the stairs, and knew that the event on 
which she had this summer staked her happiness had come to pass. 

And, after that, the pleasant little tea-party — which poor Hany 
thought was a special institution for his benefit — ^followed as naturally 
at Myrtle Bank as it did when Captain Anstey dropped in, four after- 
noons a week, in Lowndes Square. And the yachting engagement, with 
possibihties of another engagement tenderly implied in its persuasive 
" WiU you come. Miss Kate ? " was made ; and the young Squire's 
carefully considered scrawl was swept aside and forgotten as com- 
pletely as his birthday expedition and his whole existence. 

A Country Heart. 201 

Down at the landing-stage he waited, full of all the importance of 
the occasion ; through two long bright hours of the morning ; for with 
a countryman's consideration for two town-bred ladies, he had fixed 
the start a good deal later than Captain Anstey had done, and the 
Halcyon was bounding miles away while Harry sat idly pulling the 
tiller ropes of the Mermaid and looking up the little stony lane, 
expecting his guests to appear. Then, seized with dread that his in- 
stmctions had not been plain enough, and that the ladies were cer- 
tainly awaiting his escort at Myrtle Bank, he left his boat in charge of 
a boy, and darted up the hill at railroad pace to fetch them, quite 
overwhelmed at the thought that they should have waited, or that he 
had been remiss in the performance of any devoirs, which they had 
expected of him. 

"They be gone this tu hours," was the reply of the Myrtle Bank 
landlady, who was taking the opportunity of giving her rooms a good 
turn out and had no time to waste in discussion. " No ; Miss Verey, 
her said as they would be out a'al day, and mebbe till laate, so they 
vould only want supper when they comed to home and tu lay for a 
gentleman beside — they be gone out ta sail." And with this informa- 
tion, she b^an to sweep so determinedly that Harry saw she had 
really nothing more to tell. 

Of course, that was where the mistake lay ! They had gone direct 
to Shepstone, probably in the little Norfolk cart which Miss Verey 
sometimes hired for her mother. 

Now for the Mermaid as fast as might be, and to get to Shep- 
stone the best way he might, sailing or rowing as the tide served, to 
repair as much as possible the unlucky misadventure of the morning. 
But at Shepstone came out comely Mrs. Loveys, in her best spotted 
gown and a straw bonnet tied behind, to give an air of al frescoe 
dignity to the entertainment 

" Where be they ? Mr. Harry, my dear ? I have everything prepared 
just beautiful. And will you please to look at the garnishing of the 
ducks, and if you please tu say if the ladies will take green tea ? " 

Poor Harry could say nothing, but that he supposed there was 
some mistake, and he went and sat down by the water's edge, watch- 
ing for a possible boat to make its appearance round the comer of 
the little cove ; while Mrs. Loveys* eldest boy, " Sonny," was instructed 
to keep watch at the cross roads behind the farm-house, and report 
Che approach of any carriage from Torferry way. 

The morning and midday were passed now, and the afternoon 
crept on, getting closer and more sultry as the sun dropped amongst 
a pile of clouds banked up in the western sky, and only showed at in- 
tervals, gilding the edges of the purple mass with thundery-looking 
gold. Harry Tredennick resisted all Mrs. Loveys' invitations to come 
in and take a bit of dinner, in spite of his disappointment He only 
filled his pipe again and again, and sat moodily staring across the 
clear water of the cove to the open sea beyond. And, suddenly, with 

202 A Country Heart. 

a little breeze that crept close along the surface of the waves, the 
white wings of the Halcyon came across the picture at which he was 
disconsolately gazing — the Halcyon^ with all sails set, making for Tor- 
ferry as fest as she could ; for weather-wise sailors knew that those 
clouds in the west, and little sudden noiseless breezes springing up 
unexpectedly, meant mischief. But the storm was not upon her yet, 
for there, plainly visible to the miserable, despairing eyes of the boy, 
was Kate Verey, in her blue dress, leaning back against the taffrail, 
and one white, ungloved hand was lying on Gerard Anstey's dark 
head, that rested against her knee. 

The Halcyon got safely into Torferry harbour before the rain came 
down and the breeze freshened into a regular squall : the great thing 
was that the ladies got back to Myrtle Bank safe and dry. Everyone 
said it would have been such a bad ending to their delightful day, if 
they had been caught in the storm. 

For there was a good deal of damage done that night The yachts 
and the fishing-boats had to get in wh6re they could, and put back 
the next day with different accounts of their difficulties and disasters. 
And, in the afternoon, with the high tide, the poor little Mtrmaid 
drifted into the bay, with her gay cushions gone and her mast snapped 
short, and nobody to bring her to at the steps, as Harry Tredennick 
used to do so proudly. Captain Anstey brought the news up to 
Myrtle Bank : the young Squire was missing ; but he never thought 
of connecting the lost master of the Mernuitdwith Kate's disappointed 

Harry never came to shore again. There is a coloured window in 
the church, over the altar pew, that keeps his name in memory, but 
where his body lies in the great sea is an unfathomable secret, and 
when the family vault was shut down, after old Madam's funeral, it 
closed upon the last of the Tredennicks. 

Miss Verey's engagement to Captain Anstey made an immediate 
difference in their plans, and caused their return to London to be 
considerably hastened. Kate is Mrs. Anstey now, and the Captain 
has the right to be as dictatorial as he pleases, but his wife is much 
quieter than of old, and has tamed down in a manner that surprises 
all her old friends. It is wonderful to see how she has completely 
given up all her " little ways," as people used laughingly to call them. 
She has scarcely anything to say now to any man beside her husband, 
and society in general thinks that Mrs. Anstey is a nice woman spoilt 
by matrimony. 

And Kate Anstey knows that, in spite of any happiness that comes 
to her in the life she has chosen, she will always carry about with her 
the reproach of some words which she heard in Torferry church long 
ago, and which ring in her ears day and night : " TA^re is sorrow on 
the sea : it cannot be quiet I " 



T^HOSE who have occasion to cross the Channel now and then 
^ must have often speculated — that is to say, if they were not sea- 
sick — upon the idiosyncrasies of their fellow-passengers. Similar 
people are met every day in the streets and in places of public enter- 
tainment, but are rarely given a moment's thought. The sea is, 
however, a great leveller — of conventionalities as well as of other 
things — ^and so persons who would never think of recognising one 
another ashore will be found conversing and friendly afloat 

But if civilities can be interchanged between persons who are 
strangers to each other on the short run across from Dover to Calais, 
or Kingstown to Holyhead, how much more are the amenities of our 
social life admissible on an ocean-going steamer — one, say, to India 
or America? In the latter situation friendships — or, perhaps, 
enmities — take the place of an hour's chatty conversation ; and so it 
not infrequently happens that a friendship hastily contracted on board 
ship will influence a person's whole life for good or evil. 

In the old novels of Indian life it is amusing to note the importance 
which the novelists attach to board-ship friendships. Young ladies 
are especially warned to be very careful about the friendships they 
make in a voyage in one of the old Indiamen of the period. They 
are recommended to treat their fellow passengers with an air of digni- 
fied but courteous reserve, and to wear a noli-me-tangere expression 
always, when in the society of the ship's officers or the cadets. Nor 
was the advice to be altogether despised, because it is a truism of all 
times, and in all the vessels that sail the seas, that it is much easier to 
bm into a friendship on board ship than to fall out of one. 

One of the commonest of travelling characters met with at sea is 
the man who is all warmth and kindliness at first He helps you 
with your luggage, he offers a light for a cigar, he directs you to the 
chief steward's den, or he performs any one of those thousand trifling 
but graceful offices which serve to lay the lines of a board-ship 

This amiable creature, whom for the present you don't know from 
Adam, is evidently taken with you, and, if you have the average 
amount of vanity accorded every human being, you cannot but feel 
flattered by his preference. For there are dozens of other persons on 
board to whom he might as genially attach himself; but he admires 
you alone. You think that you and he must have sympathies in 
common, and accept his advances with a good grace. He says 
he will sit next you at dinner, and you agree. Then you find 
out more about him. He may be a Collector of Koochperwanee, in 
Bengal, or an American Senator, or a China tea-taster, or an Australian 

204 Board-Ship Friendships, 

squatter, according to the route you are travelling ; but whatever he 
is, you know that he is a gentleman, a man of good station, who can 
have no designs upon your purse, and so you are charmed with him. 
Your heart expands to his blandishments — possibly to his wine — and 
you give him your opinions on men, women, and things in general 
with a freedom which even at the time strikes you as scarcely 

But he reciprocates. He tells you, sotto voce, that the lady across 
the table is a divorcee, that the man with the big black whiskers is 
flying from justice, and that the other, with no hair at all on his face, 
is a well-known Fenian desperado. 

A man who can impart his confidences in this friendly way may be 
trusted with your own, you illogically think, because the excitement 
of going on board, the bustle, and the prospect of a week's or a month's 
close companionship with such an agreeable rattle has put you a little 
off your head. 

Well, it is all very well as long as it lasts. For a few days you and 
your board-ship friend might pass for Damon and Pythias together. 
But one morning there is a coolness — ^about a woman ; perhaps the 
very divorcee aforesaid — ^and you begin to think a good deal less of 
Mr. Pythias than heretofore. Next day, or the next, there is an 
actual quarrel, and then, to your infinite disgust, the perfidious Pythias 
manages to let all the people around know what you have been saying 
of them : to which he adds a good deal of what he has said himsel£ 
Friendships of this hot-house growth generally, indeed, turn into 
bitter enmities before the voyage is over, so that an old traveller will 
regard the advances of the apparently friendly, well-meaning fellow 
with suspicion, and keep him at a distance as much as possible. 
It is better to do this than to suffer the discomfort of sitting 
next a man at breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day with whom 
you are on bad terms. It is better to do this than to have to 
encounter the furious looks of the pseudo divorcee, who is in fact a 
most respectable person, fondly attached to her invalid husband 
who is then on board : better than to stand an action for libel 
threatened by the man with the black whiskers, who turns out to be 
an emissar}' for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. 

Even a more dangerous kind of friendship than this last is a flirta- 
tion with a woman, double or single. The friendship in this case is 
not forced upon one, certainly, but it is none the less perilous for 
that On every ocean steamship there are pretty women, and pretty 
women without much to do. Dr. Watts tells us what are the diabo- 
lical consequences of idleness. The offer of a book to read, or of a 
chair to sit down on may be the commencement of Heaven knows 
what — a, marriage, an elopement, a breach of promise suit, an appear- 
ance in Sir James Hannan's Court, or a double suicide after the 
French manner with charcoal. 

*' What great events from trifling causes spring ! " 

Board-Ship Friendships. 205 

And it is unfortunately the fact that nowhere is ladies' society more 
attractive, or are ladies themselves more gracious than on board ship. 
There is so little to do, and they are so glad to be amused But the 
man generally pays more or less for the boon of a lady's friendship on 
board ship, unless indeed the friendship is of such a very platonic 
character as a husband or lover could find no fault with. In several 
cases out of a dozen it all ends in a row. For there are many sea- 
going dames and demoiselles who are as ready to change their 
friendships as their gloves. The Delilahs who go about the decks in 
the coollest and freshest toilettes and in the most delicious straw hats> 
have further the disadvantage of appearing to offer more in the way of 
friendship than they mean. Half the women who go down to the sea 
in ships have no more idea of the sacredness of friendship than suits 
their own convenience. If they have no male protectors they will 
gracefully accept the servitude of the nearest man ; but their notion of 
the contract is that the man must be quite content to serve them on 
his knees, and that he must not on any account complain if they turn 
their paniers upon him at New York or Liverpool. 

Certainly, the women are fairer and more above-board in these 
dealings than the men. The latter are often silly enough to think 
that they can get women to fall passionately in love with them in 
the course of an eight days' voyage, and expect the ladies to go 
ashore in tears over the agony of the parting. 

A kindly woman's friendship — even if it is only of the fleeting 
character of most board-ship friendships — is, nevertheless, a great 
consolation at sea. It is pleasant to have a lady as a neighbour at 
table for one thing, instead of, perhaps, the ship's doctor, smelling 
of pills. It is more satisfactory to converse with a woman about 
the glories of the deep and the brightness of the stars than with a 
male functionary, such as the first officer. To take a very selfish 
view of such a sweet communion as this, a friendship with a woman, 
too, saves one from the troubling of the men. The bull-board 
maniffrg^ the Pan-pokerists, the Philo-rubbers, and all the other 
masculine torments of the lazy man at sea must let him alone when 
"Beauty chains him to her chair." But the wise man, even though he 
be lazy, will lay to heart well the fact that "Beauty" will be doing 
precisely the same for some other fellow three months hence after she 
has made the tour of Europe, and is steaming West again. 

The friendship of the sexes on board ship is, nevertheless, open to 
serious misconstruction. The pleasure of a pretty woman's com- 
panionship at table and on deck is one that must be paid for in a 
certain amount of " talking." Idleness begets gossip, and people — 
that is to say, passengers — are very idle at sea. Platonic attachments 
are entirely discredited there, and the affinity of souls abandoned. 
And if, as often happens, the unlucky pair on whom the public 
attention is concentrated, should in petulance, and just to defy public 
opinion, parade their innocent little friendship ostentatiously, the con- 

2o6 Board-Ship Friendships. 

sequences may be dangerous for a married woman. Slander travels 
quickly, and the husband, in the Punjab or Hong-Kong, will hear of 
his wife's doings afloat. Quarrels, misunderstandings, and a separa- 
tion follow, which make rather a high price in all to pay for a mere 
board-ship friendship. 

Women can hardly be too discreet in their behaviour at sea, if 
travelling alone. Hastily-formed friendships at starting may put them 
into the most awkward positions afterwards. And this axiom is as 
applicable to friendships contracted with their own as with the other 
sex. An everyday character on board ship is the nice, well-dressed, 
lady-like woman who is all smiles and sweetness at first, all frowns 
and acid at last. She is, perhaps, one of those unphilosophic persons 
who are ever in pursuit of pleasure, never of content, and in that case 
she will lead the unwary of her sex into the social perils of a clique, 
of which she has probably constituted herself the ruling queen. 

Now, clique friendship, that is to say, the friendship of a '* set," is 
never to be relied upon on board ship. The characters of the persons 
composing the set are unknown to each other, and it is almost 
impossible under such a disadvantage that the harmony of the little 
circle can last. The swans begin to think one another geese, and 
once this occurs there is an end of the clique. The passengers who 
have held aloof from it, or have not been invited to join, now find it 
is their turn to laugh, and the lady who has allowed herself to be 
drawn into the clique has the shame of being justly commiserated by 
persons on whom she has turned the cold shoulder. 

A reserved person, however, can seldom attain popularity on a 
voyage. A sea voyage, in these days of swift steamers, is not long 
enough to permit of his being understood. On the contrary, the 
prudent reserve of a person who does not wish to be entangled in 
undesirable friendships or intrigues, is very often set down to anything 
but the right reason. All sorts of mistakes — especially those of 
identity — ^are liable to occur on board great ocean steamships which 
take in stray passengers at different ports. Thus, it has come to 
pass that a very reserved person has been mistaken for the son of the 
hangman, because " he never spoke to nobody." And a lady who 
kept herself very much to herself, which was all the more aggravating 
because she was pretty, once travelled quite unconsciously over the 
Indian Seas as a Russian spy, when she was in foct only the wife 
of an English naval officer. 

There are people who hold the opinion that when they are at sea 
everything is lawful to them in a social sense. It is needless to say 
that though they travel first-class, they are not first-class people. They 
seem to think that the sea sweeps away all social distinctions, and if 
there is any great personage on board they will go up and address 
him as coolly as if he were only a brother bagman. It is dreadful to 
have the distasteful friendship of one of this class forced upon one— 
especially if suffering from ma/ de mer. Often it is a woman, in the 

Board Ship Friendships, 207 

guise of a good-natured, *•' motherly body." She is full of interest for 
her victim, and full of questions. She thinks he looks pale at break- 
fast, and advises him to take a mutton-chop. She banters him at 
dinner about the young lady he was playing chess with on deck, and 
very likely in the hearing of the young woman herself. If he is a 
lord, she enquires loudly across the table how his mother is ; and in 
this way she takes possession of him bodily by right of the sea. He 
is flotsam and jetsam, whom it is lawful to annex, and the victim will 
bitterly repent the civihty he offered such a person at the beginning, 
for all the rest of the voyage. 

It is impossible to shake off the friendship of this particular class. 
It is the hug of the old man of the sea. One's quiet walks on deck, 
one's tranquil smoke after breakfast, oneb siesta under the awning, 
one's novel, are all spoiled by the persistent friendship of the man 
who affects to be jolly and sociable at sea, and expects that others 
will be so hkewise. The only way to get rid of this kind of friend- 
ship is to draw the man's caricature and leave it about. Vanity is 
his weak point, and this will wound it if anything can. 

Of the same class is the spinster who is always drawing little drafts 
upon the kindness of her "friends." So, at least, she calls the 
acquaintance of a few days or a week. One would think this young 
lady had never a friend on shore, she makes so much of those she 

has aboard. It is always, " Oh, Mr. , will you be so kind ? " or 

" Oh, dear, how stupid ot me, but would you mind ? " ,until the 
victims of her behests are actually run off their legs upon missions 
more or less trivial. 

To offer to look for a box, or a handbag, for a damsel of this kind 
is as unsatisfactory as to make promises to Herodias' daughter. From 
that day forth, until the time when the propeller ceases from troubling, 
and the weaiy are at rest, the man who has so committed himself will 
no longer be a free agent. Under the guise of friendship, she will 
keep him running up and down, or sticking in the hatchways. He 
will go about with an everlasting workbox or shawl in his hand, and 
he will not dare to smoke without permission from his little tyrant. 
There is only one chance for him — that some other man will be as 
big a fool as himself. That would lighten his labours by one half. 

The friendship of cabin chums, whether they happen to be young 
ladies or young men, is often of a very questionable character. To 
get on at all with the person who shares your privacy is no easy 
undertaking, because one naturally begins with disliking him. Que 
diable allait-il faire dans cette galore ? Then the great Christian prin- 
ciple of give and take is so often misinterpreted by cabin chums. It 
is related that there were once two — one a very High Church clergy- 
man — ^who were bosom friends, until the one discovered his reverend 
companion improving his tonsure with the other's pet razor. After 
that they never spoke again, not even in bed. 

If board-ship friendship can endure the test of cabin companion- 

2o8 Board-Ship Friendships. 

ship, it may be accepted as real and lasting for all time ; but when we 
consider how veiy many more nasty people there are in the world 
than nice, and the long odds against ever getting one of the latter for 
a cabin companion, it is not so very surprising if the very last people 
to enjoy board-ship friendship are those boxed up together. Every- 
one who has had the misfortune to go a long voyage with an uncon- 
genial cabin chum must remember his o^^^l rehef when he got near 
the end of the journey. 

This is the time when board-ship friendships are seen at their 
worst The pretty woman, but old traveller, who has been so kind 
during the voyage as to let you sit next her at table, and order, and 
pay for, her champagne, is now so much engaged with her packing, 
and her letters, and her telegrams, as to find barely time to bid you 
Good-morning. The young lady whose board-ship friendship with the 
chief officer has been so much commented upon during the voyage, 
now discovers to her dismay that the deceiving sailor is a married 
man. Only the reserved person brightens up, and grows genial with 
the near termination of the voyage. There is no longer much danger 
of anyone presuming on his friendship to ask the favour of a small 
loan, and so he is at liberty to relax a little in view of his speedy 
separation from his fellow-passengers. 

Less selfish persons, chiefly females, cling with desperate tenacity 
to the hope, a delusive one, that the mushroom friendships they have 
made on board will be carried on to Liverpool, London, or wherever 
they are all bound. The very sanguine among them go so far even 
as to ask the addresses of their friends on shore, but are met with 
evasive answers. The fact is that there is a lamentable tendency of 
weak human nature to shake off board-ship friendships as soon as it 
touches terra firma again. It is only the hardened traveller, however, 
who can actually cut his whilom cabin chum at the railway station, 
and ignore his presence at the table d'hote, should they find them- 
selves at the same hotel. Inexperienced persons — especially those 
from the Colonies — cling affectionately to one another to the very 
last, and make arrangements to go up to town in the same train, to 
live in the same hotel, and what not. 

But it is utterly impracticable, for all this, to expect that fungus 
thing, board-ship friendship, to flourish anywhere but on board ship. 
The very phrase, " That ? Oh, that is someone who came over with 
me in the Leviathan^^ is enough to indicate the fact. And though 
it is not denied that friendships have been begun on board ship that 
have lasted a life-time, such intimacies are the exception to the rule, 
for " Out of sight out of mind " is a maxim which is almost 
universally applicable to them. 

F. E. W. 



By the Author of " Adonais, Q. C* 

MISS OLDHAM, aU the time she had been driving along the 
Parade of Boroughbourne, had kept her clear blue eyes fixed 
dreamily on the dancing, sail-studded bay. Now that the open fly 
in which she was drew up at Brattley's, the principal draper's shop 
of the place, she got out and crossed the pavement into the shop. 

Miss Oldham had the walk and the easy, natural dignity of an 
ideal queen. There was nothing particularly beautiful in her face — 
except, perhaps, the eyes — and yet she had a face in which there was 
a whole world of fascination imprinted somewhere. Amongst a crowd 
of others, it was the one which would have been almost certain to be 
remembered. The short Grecian nose ; the sensitive lips ; above all, 
the droop of the eyelids, and the dignified, direct expression of the 
clear eyes. The poise of the head was very dignified also ; — and if 
one had happened to catch the tone of voice, that would have been 
remembered as well. It was clear and decided, like the look in the 

At twenty-seven a woman's complexion is rarely her strong point ; 
but Miss Oldham's complexion had never been anything but unnotice- 
abie. She was not one of those enigmatical women who can look 
marvellously plain at one time, and at another time marvellously 
beautiful No ; with that expression in her eyes, and that poise to 
ber head, she could never have looked plain. But beautiful ? Fasci- 
nating and queenly, yes ; — but there might have been two opinions as 
to m^ether she was actually beautiful. 

It was late summer. Her warm-coloured, handsomely-made brown 
costume seemed to speak of the coming autumn leaves as she passed 
straight through the crowded shop to a distant counter. She glanced 
up and down it for an instant, then went a step or two farther along, 
and spoke to one of the shopmen. 

" I will take that Indian silk with me now, if you please." 

She certainly had a most distinct and bell-like utterance ; but the 
shopman looked as thunderstruck and confused as if she had ad- 
dressed him in an unintelligible dialect. 

"The — Indian silk — madam ? " he stammered. 

" Yes," replied Miss Oldham, looking at the man. 

She continued to look at him for another moment, and then 
parted her lips as if she were about to repeat her request for the silk. 
Just at that instant the man burst into a profuse torrent of apologies. 

" Miss Oldham — madam — I beg your pardon ; I understood you 
to say you had decided not to take the silk — I sold the two pieces 

VOL. XL. p 

210 Miss Oldham's Choice. 

not ten minutes ago to another customer. I beg your pardon, Miss 
Oldham. I will at once telegraph to Liberty's for two more pieces of 
exactly the same shade." 

A litde spot of bright colour had burned suddenly into each side 
of Miss Oldham's fece. She drooped her heavy eyelids for a moment, 
and raised her hand with an involuntary litde movement to the pin at 
her throat. 

" I fancied I had made myself perfecdy understood," she remarked,, 
coldly. " It is very strange." 

" And I fencied I had done so, madam," the man answered. " I 
thought you said you would not take the silk ; but that you would 
call in half an hour and choose something else. In all the bustle 
that goes on around, I must have misunderstood — I hope you will 
allow me to send to Liberty's." 

Miss Oldham was very angry. The man was telling her the strict 
truth, and as she was a clever woman, she ought to have seen at once 
that it was so. As matters stood, however, she disbelieved him. 
What she did think simply was that she, being new to Boroughboume, 
had been despoiled of her rightful purchase in order to suit the whim 
of an older and, perhaps, larger customer ; and her soul revolted at 
the injustice. Besides, woman-like, she was vexed about the silk. 

"You told me yourself," she said, "that that particular shade of 
dead-gold colour was most uncommon. You said if I wanted any 
more it would probably have to be specially dyed. I should find it 
very awkward to wait for that as I wanted the dress directiy. Oh ! — I 
see the silk is still there ! " 

The man turned round for it, and put it down on the counter be- 
fore her. 

" I have not had time even to parcel it up, madam," he said, with 
rather an offended air, seeing that he was disbelieved. " The gentle- 
man bought it to send to his daughter in Germany, and he promised 
to come back and give me the young lady's correct address. Of 
course, if I had understood you to leave the matter even in indecision 
I should never have let the silk go. Perhaps some of our other 
shades might be equally satisfactory, madam." 

The afternoon sun sparkled like a changing fire upon the brilliant 
silk. Miss Oldham's eyes clouded the more as she looked at it 

" If you were to explain the circumstances of the case to your 
customer," she remarked, still in the same cold manner, " I should 
think he could hardly refuse to let me have these pieces. Perhaps 
some of your other shades might be equally satisfectory to him.** 

As she spoke she had laid her parasol across the silk. She really 
had only done so in order that she might the more conveniently fiisten 
a button of her glove ; but it seemed to the man as if she were going 
to take possession of it, and his face grew actually pale with alarm. 

** Oh, if you please. Miss Oldham," he said, hurriedly, •* I can 
assure yotf that Dr. Werner would never allow " 

Miss Oldham's Choice. 211 

He stopped dead short, for Miss Oldham had drawn herself up to 
her full height, and was looking at him. Whatever there was in that 
look it seemed utterly to deprive the man of the power of speech. 
For fully five seconds she kept her eyes fixed upon him ; then she 
put her hand to her brooch, with the same involuntary little gesture 
as before, and an instant after took hold of the two pieces of Indian 

** I chose this silk, and gave orders that it should be entered to 
my account The mistake, if there was a mistake^ was on your part ; 
and I think I am justified in considering that the silk belongs to me. 
I shall, therefore, take possession of it on my own responsibility ; and, 
perhaps, you will be good enough to let Mr. Brattley and your cus- 
tomer know that I have done so. Good afternoon ! " 

An instant later she was walking easily through the bustling shop 
with the soft-glowing, golden silk thrown over her left arm. At the 
lace counter she paused, and looked critically at the Valenciennes and 
Hom'ton, even remarking with a smile to the shop girl behind 
that one could hardly tell now the imitation from the real lace ; and 
yet the truth was she barely saw the laces : she was so angry ; she 
was so angry. 

Dr. Werner ! Was she to be always haunted by this man ? She 
counted, as she stood there, with a morsel of the airy-like fabric in 
her hand, how many times this man's individuaUty had been thrust 
upon her, since she had arrived six weeks ago at Boroughboume. 
Fvce times^ if she was not mistaken. She put the lace down, and 
taking up another bit, began to go over them in her mind. 

First, there was the incident about the rooms at the hotel. After 
engaging them she went back to the station for her luggage, and at the 
door of the hotel again met the landlord. He was so sorry, but Dr. 
Werner had also arrived by that train — from a tour on the Continent. 
Dr. Werner always put up a night at this hotel on his arrival from the 
Continent, and always occupied these rooms ; and as she was a stranger, 
etc, etc., he had taken the liberty — just for one night — of removing 
her to the other side of the passage. That was once. 

Then she had wanted to hire a particular phaeton by the week, and 
a particular horse. The man regretted much that Dr. Werner often 
went out with them. That was twice. 

A friend of hers had contributed something to the current number 
of the Quarterly y and she had left word at the circulating library, which 
she had joined, that immediately upon its arrival it should be sent 
to her. The next morning the librarian rather thought there must 
have been some mistake : at any rate the Quarterly always went first 
to Dr. Werner's. Three times. 

Some friends had come down from London to see her, and she 
had ordered a dainty little supper for them fi'om the French Cook 
of the hotel. At the supper everything was wrong ; game burnt, 
meringues tasteless. The landlord was again profuse in his apolo 

212 Miss Oldham^s Choice. 

gies. The fact was, there was a great dinner at Barrington Crescent 
— at Dr. Werner's. Four times. And now this was the fifth ! — ^Well, 
well, she almost laughed now ; and yet she was so angry. 

She moved over to where there was a great display of gay ribbons. 
Each of the above incidents was trifling, of course ; but still each one 
had been very vexatious at the moment, and she had got to think 
that the whole of Boroughboume bowed down in worship before 
Dr. Werner. She believed she had said something of this kind to the 
landlord of the hotel, the morning after the supper incident, and he 
had answered rather confusedly that Boroughboume was proud Dr. 
Werner should have honoured it as his fixed place of residence ; and 
that Dr. Werner was a very popular gentleman. 

"Jra^ is Dr. Werner?" 

She put the question to him frigidly, just to see what the man 
would say ; for, of course, all the world knew the great metaphysician 
Werner. He hummed, and fidgeted, and finally replied that he had 
never heard Dr. Werner mentioned as being anything ^/ Dr. Wemer, 
A pang of amusement swept over her as she remembered that Well, 
but her Indian silk ? No, no ; it was too much ! She turned rapidly 
away from the ribbons, and went towards the door. She was quite 
near it — upon the very threshold — and had called to mind that 
someone had surely mentioned to her Dr. Werner's great fondness for 
his one child — ^a daughter. That he was a widower she had heard 
certainly. She looked up and down for her open fly and just at the 
moment a voice spoke close to her ear. 

" My Indian silk ! " 

She wheeled round to find a gentleman on the step beside her 
staring fixedly down at the silk upon her arm. He was very tall and 
broad-shouldered, with a short, flaxen-coloured King Charles beard. 
Keen, dark blue eyes, peering out from under well-defined eyebrows 
of the same colour as his beard. Almost at the same instant as his ex- 
clamation he raised a pair of double eye-glasses quickly, and after cast- 
ing one still more narrow look at the silk, bowed to Miss Oldham. 

" Pardon me, madam," he said, with a slight foreign accent : *' I 
fancied that, by some mistake possibly, you might have been carrying 
away — my Indian silk. A hundred pardons, madam. Some other 
I>ieces of silk, no doubt. Some mistake of the shop people — there 
were no other pieces probably. Pray pardon me." 

As he finished speaking, he put up his eye-glass and peered into 
the silk again. Miss Oldham had adjusted it with a little movement 
of her dainty brown kid glove. The burning spot was on each cheek 
once again, but she raised her eyes with even a more haughtily direct 
look than usual. 

" Am I speaking to Dr. Wemer ? " she enquired, composedly. — 
The man met the eyes with his own, and appeared positively startled 
i)y them. 

" I am Dr. Wemer — ^yes," he answered, looking straight at her. 

Miss Oldham's Choice • 213 

" Oh ! " said Miss Oldham, and moved aside to let some people 
pass out of the shop. Then she looked again at Dr. Werner and 
continued : " I bought these two pieces of silk in this shop about 
half an hour since, and left word that I would call again for them. 
^Vhen I did so it transpired that through some unjustifiable mistake 
of the shop people they had been resold in the interim — to you. 
I am very sorry that such a mistake should have occurred, but — of 
course I retain possession of the silk." 

"Ha," said Dr. Werner, again, and continued to study Miss 

"I am given to understand," she pursued, with the seemingly 
unavoidable little bridling movement of her throat, "that more 
material of the same description and of the same shade of colour may 
be procured with only some slight delay. I am sorry that I should 
find it impossible to wait for this material ; but I am told that Mr. 
Brattley would be happy to order it. Good afternoon!" 

Just as she was turning away, the man with the King Charles beard 
made a sudden step to confront her. 

" But," said he, in a tone which gave out the idea of his having just 
remembered some small incidental point forgotten in the previous 
argument, " where are you going with my Indian silk ? " 

No words can describe Miss Oldham's surprise. She stood where 
she was, perfectly motionless, and simply looked at Dr. Werner ; much 
as she had looked at the shopman not five minutes before. In Dr. 
Werner's case, however, it appeared to have a reanimating rather than 
any other effect Miss Oldham had never been in such a position 
before. If she would have confessed it to herself, she wished now 
that she had left the silk alone. 

" Dr. Werner," she replied, drawing herself up haughtily, " I have 
explained the matter to you as well as I am able. I bought the silk. 
I spoke to the shopman as distinctly as I am speaking to you now. 
There could be no misunderstanding on his part, and his error was 
unjustiBable. Good morning ! " 

Dr. Werner suddenly took off his hat and bowed almost reveren- 
tially to Miss Oldham. 

"The destination of the Indian silk is decided. The mistake was 
indeed unjustifiable — ^and the Indian silk belongs to you." 

Ten minutes later. Miss Oldham going up the broad staircase of the 
hotel at which she was staying, looked down with unusually troubled 
eyes upon her left arm, and muttered half aloud : " He also said that 
it was unjustifiable." Had she begun already, like the rest of 
Boroughboume, to be swayed by Dr. Werner ? Just about the same 
time, Dr. Werner's horses swept round the corner of Barrington 
Crescent, and stopped at the foot of his own steps. As he got out, 
and went up them, he remarked aloud, so that the footman heard 
him, and repeated it in the kitchen : " Beautiful woman ! Still more 
beautiful, no doubt, in my Indian silk." 

214 Miss OldJiam's Choice. 

He had evidently ranged himself amongst those who dtd consider 
Miss Oldham positively beautiful. 

Miss Oldham had not come to Boroughboume without introduc- 
tions ; but the Boroughboume season was only just commencing, so 
that people were only beginning to arrive there now. Besides that, 
she had been busy looking out for a house, and had never even had 
time to think of presenting her introductions. 

Miss Oldham was not a rich widow ; but she was what ought to 
have been just as popular : a rich unmarried lady with nobody in all 
the world to say her yea or nay. Her mother had been dead many 
long years ; and her father — ^an indigo planter in Ceylon — ^had died 
immediately upon his arrival in England, his native country, after an 
absence of forty years abroad. That took place when Miss Oldham 
was twenty-three. Her father's death was a terrible blow. They 
were so fond of each other, and they had been looking forward for 
years to this coming home, where they were to be so gay and happy. 
Circumstances had prevented their settling in England sooner ; and 
strange to say, although Miss Oldham liad been educated on the Con- 
tinent, she had never put foot on English soil. Perhaps, after all, it 
was not so strange when one remembered that Mr. Oldham was a self- 
made man, entirely without relations. 

After the first bitterness of her father's loss was beginning to pass 
away a little, it seemed to her that if she had only had one — only one 
— ^relation, however poor, that she could have turned to, it would at 
least have been better than this desolation. And then as Old Time 
. still rolled on, and something like her former gaiety of spirit came 
back to her — for she was still young and vigorous — she bethought 
herself of all the packets of introductions her father had brought over 
with him. Let a man be self-made as he may, he is not a millionaire 
for nothing. Only another short year found Miss Oldham plunged 
in a whirl of gaiety. 

She began by engaging an elderly lady as a chaperon, and plodded 
patiently through a long relay of elderly ladies ; until at twenty-six, 
despairing of ever finding one she could be happy with, she resolved 
to brave the world alone. Whether it was that Miss Oldham was 
unlucky, or whether she really had the grave fault of not being able 
to get on well with elderly companions, it is impossible to say ; but 
at any rate, at twenty-six, she began to live alone. For a young and 
handsome woman, with a less clear look in her eyes, and less haughty 
poise to her head, the plan might not have been so feasible ; but for 
her there seemed to be no great difficulty rising in the way. At 
twenty-seven, somehow or other, the phantasy seized her that above 
all things she should like to hire a furnished house at Boroughboume. 
So she had come down here and taken rooms in the hotel, and begun 
to look out for a house. Yes, but the business was to find one to suit 
her — for Miss Oldham was fastidious. 

Miss Oldham's Choice. 215 

Ahy it is a sad thing for any woman to live alone. Miss Oldham 
would fai better have gone on enduring the elderly companions. The 
vodd never knew it, but many a hot tear welled forth from the clear 
eyes, in the goigeous privacy of her sitting-room ; for a woman, after 
all, must be a woman. It was not that Miss Oldham cared a bit 
about the money, but she did hate to be cheated; and everybody, just 
because she was a woman and alone, seemed so ready to take advan- 
tage of her. All the furnished houses were either too dear or too 
dirty; and all the house agents either snarled or smirked ; and all the 
world had at least one friend in whom to confide its troubles — except 
Miss Oldham. No wonder the blue eyes clouded sometimes — ^when 
there was nobody but the httle blue shepherdesses on the mantelpiece 
to see. 

It was just one week after the incident about the Indian silk and 
Miss Oldham, as usual, was on the hunt for houses. It was a beauti- 
ful, clear, sunny afternoon, but more oppressively warm than the other 
one had been, and she was driving rapidly along the white, unshaded 
streets, trying vainly to obtain something like coolness under a. dainty, 
green parasol. Her face looked paler than usual, partly on account 
of the greenish shade, and partly that she was very tired. She 
had orders to see three houses, but as the fly stopped, and she got 
out, she said to herself that though this was only the second, it would 
be the last she would visit to-day at all events. Then she went slowly 
up the steps and rang the bell 

She looked well up and down the outside of the house, as she had 
got into the way of doing, and approved of it Three stories high 
and attics; and a nice balcony, festooned by bright-blossomed creepers. 
Well, this, at last, was just what she wanted, if the inside was only as 
nice, and if they were not asking too extravagant a sum for it. It 
was not at all that she was unable to pay any sum however extrava- 
gant, but only that she objected to do so for the seemingly tacitly 
understood reason that she was both lonely and rich. As she stood 
there, her delicate-coloured, airy-like French dress seemed to combine 
with the almost unseasonably hot day to make one dream of the 
departing summer. When the door opened she glanced again at the 
paper in her hand. 

" I have an order to see this house on Tuesday, between the hours 
of four and six. I suppose it is convenient for me to go over it 

The footman threw a surprised glance at the order and one of 
respectful admiration at Miss Oldham. 

'* I am afraid, ma'am, there must be some mistake." 

Miss Oldham studied the order attentively again, and put this 
down to another of the strange eccentricities of Boroughboume. 

" There is no mistake," she said, almost patiently. " The order of 
admittance is regularly drawn out for this house. I have no wish to 
see anything further to-day than the drawing-room and dining-room. 

2i6 Miss Oldham's Choice. 

Here is my card. Will you be good enough to enquire whether 
it is convenient ? " 

"Certainly, ma'am," replied the man, somewhat abashed by the 
grand air of this lady. He disappeared into the house, and, meanr- 
time, Miss Oldham cast her eyes round, and also approved of the 
hall. Her quick glance discerned at once that these buffalo antlers 
over the inner door would have been better, less prominently placed, 
more to the side ; but that, she assured herself, could be easily done ; 
and then she fell to admiring the cornice. The footman had gone 
straight through this hall into another; and then, having opened 
a heavy door to the left, went softly across a thick, velvet-pile carpet, 
to where a gentleman was writing at a table. 

" I beg your pardon, sir," he began, apologetically, " but, if yoa 
please, a lady insists on examining the house. She says she has an 
order to see over it I think there must be some mistake." 

" What ! " exclaimed the writer, laying down his pen and putting 
out his hand for the card the footman was holding. " See over mj 
house ! Very obliging of the lady." And then he stared for a long 
time at the card. 

"There must be some mistake, sir," the footman again ventured at 
last " The lady mentioned she would wish to see nothing further 
than the dining-room and drawing-room." 

" Very considerate of the lady," was the reply. " But show her in> 
if you please." And then he returned at once to his writing. 

The footman disappeared noiselessly in quest of the lady. The 
writer at the desk made no change in his position ; and there was no 
change on his face, except for the appearance of a &int smile hover- 
ing about the comers of his mouth. The smile was still there when he 
rose, as the door opened once again. There was a momentary blank 
pause of amazement on the part of the lady, who had just come in ; then 
an exclamation in a tone which said a good deal more than amazement 

"Dr. Werner!" 

He bowed and moved a small chair towards her, and, after another 
slight pause, she mechanically sat down. He seated himself, toa, 
upon the sofa opposite to her. 

" I think," said he, " that you wish to see the house." 

Miss Oldham Had begun to recover herself a little and to wonder 
how the mistake in the order could have arisen. ^ 

It was a strange thing, but that same order positively trembled in 
her hand, as if reverberating from some shock ; and Mi^ Oldhab's 
hand was little given to trembling. She put it down on her knee^ 
and answered very quietly : 

" I only wanted to have a momentary glance at the drawing-room 
and dining-room to-day — nothing further. I am rather tired I find 
the sun so oppressive." 

Dr. Werner stretched out hig long arm behind him and quietly 
pulled down the dark green blind. 

Miss Oldham's Choice. 217 

"That is because you have been making too much use of it. One 
requires to be discreet, even in the use of the sunshine." 

It seemed as if Miss Oldham were still paler than she had been be- 
fore. Few people, looking at her just then, could have denied that 
she was positively beautiful. 

" Yes," she answered, quickly ; " I am very tired of it." 

He turned, and put the pen he still held softly down upon the 
blotting-paper, and rested his hand upon the corner of the dark oak 
table as he spoke. It was a very white hand, and a beam of sun- 
shine, coming through a chink of the Venetian blind, glowed upon 
the diamond in his ring, making a sudden pale illumination. " One 
ought never to get tired of the sunshine," he answered, gravely. " It 
is one of those external influences whose vivifying power should never 
lose its hold on us. Many a dark deed has remained undone under 
the influence of a sudden burst of sunshine. And one can hardly be 
astonished at it I can never see a dull brooding day flash out with 
sunlight, but I breathe more freely. I put on my hat and go out in 
it; or perhaps I go out on the steps and bathe my head in the 
sparkling light, without even taking time to put on my hat. In spite 
of myself, I seem to have a personal knowledge of some dark series of 
tragedies averted — ^at all events for the moment Of course, you will 
say that it is only upon impressionable people such an influence could 
be exercised. Yes, that is true ; but how many impressionable people 
there are, after all, even here amongst your people. Go over your own 
acquaintances in your mind, and you will find that you know so many. 
Amongst my people, we are all impressionable, at any rate to the sun- 
shine. Perhaps, it is only because it matches the colour of our hair." 

It was a strange opening for a business conversation ; and perhaps 
it occurred to Dr. Werner that it was so, for he ended with a smile. 

Miss Oldham, however, was not smiling. All unconsciously he had 
struck the chords of many strange sympathies. His low, musical 
voice had thrilled her. Then it suddenly seemed to dawn upon her 
that this was only a business interview. A faint blush had been 
creeping slowly over her pale face ; and now she raised herself slightly 
in her chair, in a litde way which seemed to proclaim that here was 
enough of polite conversation. Ah, but there was no longer any use 
in thinking of that; there was no longer any possibility of purely 
polite conventionalities betwixt them. A touch or two upon a common 
chord of sympathy had made them friends. 

" Thank you, Dr. Werner," she said, quietly, casting her eyes around 
her: "I shall never again complain of the sunshine. Is this the 
study ? " 

Miss Oldham made a thorough examination of the lower part of 
the house. She was not the woman to sign a contract under any 
circumstances without being sure that she was acting wisely. After 
the study came the drawing and dining-rooms, and even a grave in- 
spection of the butler's pantry — preceded always by Dr. Werner. 

2x8 Miss Oldham's Choice. 

Well, this house would do at last ; she was sure of it When she 
had satisfied herself of that, and bid Dr. Werner good-bye, she took 
a long, long drive round by the side of the blue sparkling sea. The 
sun was seemingly hotter than ever, but she actually lowered her 
parasol, and lay back amidst the cushions to bask in it This woman 
with the clear dignified eyes was feeling happier than she had done 
for years. Perhaps it was only that she had been so fortunate about 
the house, but at any rate it was so. She drove on, out into the 
wooded countiy. Little startled rabbits darted over the white road — 
high up some whin-covered bank, or again deep into the un&thomable 
looking dens. The trees interlaced over die road. Birds sang 
amongst them everywhere, or sprang into startled flight, like the 
rabbits. When at last she came out from the woods, by a long, 
circular sweep, into the sight of the sea again, the first faint tinge of 
ruby upon the laughing blue waves announced the approaching 

The end of the bay at which she had come out was studded with 
odd litde brown rocks, dotted over with clumps of the red sea daisies; 
and here the water was of a dull green, untroubled, except for a rush, 
every now and again, of foam ; and all round this part there was an 
occasional odd, swirling, flopping sound, almost like a sob. By the 
time she reached Boroughboume, and was driving once more 
along the Parade, the sea, the sands, and the white town were all 
literally glowing in the resplendent ruby colour. She stood upon the 
steps of the hotel, and looked at them all She thought, as she stood 
there, that for some reason — ^she hardly knew what reason — she would 
remember this afternoon as one of the very happiest she had ever 
known. She went slowly upstairs to her private sitting room, still 
with the rare, rare sensation of peaceful contentment at her heart ; 
and going over to the table, opened first one, then another, of the 
two notes lying waiting for her. 

The first one ran thus : 

" Miss Oldham. — Madam, — We regret to say that your order for 
admittance to 9, Barrtngtan Crescent was a mistake for 9, BuHingt&n 
Crescent, Apologising for the error, we remain, madam, respectftilly 
yours, "Jones and Seabury." 

And the second was this : 

" Dear Miss Oldham, — In allowing you to see over my house, I 
yielded to an irresistible, but I suppose, unpardonable impulse ; for I 
was necessarily aware there must be some mistake. I regretted the 
impulse the moment I had yielded to it ; and yet it would be untrue 
to say that I regret it now. Please try to forgive me. Ever yours 
sincerely, " Frank Werner.*' 

Forgive ! Forgive ! Ah, how little — she cried it to herself pas- 
sionately — how little he knew her ! Forgive ! If he could have 

Miss Oldham's Choice. 219 

seen die wounded pride in her eyes, just then, he would hardly have 
dared to expect it The sunset was still beaming in through the open 
window, but Miss Oldham shivered as she sat in it ; and it seemed, 
through the dizzing of her ears, as if she heard once again, quite dis- 
tinctly, the sobbing sound she had listened to around the rocks at the 
other side of the Bay. 

« Miss Oldham— Dr. Werner." 

It was the first reception she had gone to, and she had only just 
entered the room when her hostess made the introduction. There 
was time neither for thought nor action on her part. Perhaps it was 
only the shock of meeting with one who had so insulted her — ^for 
she had never remembered that Dr. Werner might possibly frequent 
receptions ; or, perhaps, she was considering what was the bitterest 
thing she could say in return for such an insult ; but, at any rate, she 
stood perfectly still beside him, a deep flush on her fair face. Her 
soft, gold-coloured dress and amber ornaments glowed in the lamp light. 
He was standing perfectly motionless also. All of a sudden he 
changed his position again, and cast his eyes down on her. 

" Ah," he sighed—" my Indian silk ! " 

It was the little straw which turned the scale. The flush deepened 
on Miss Oldham's face, but her lips parted in a smile. How it hap- 
pened neither of them could have told, but a minute later they had 
fallen easily into a quiet talk upon general subjects. And it was 
only a week ago that Miss Oldham had sat down with the suflbcating 
pain of wounded pride bringing a new shamed look into her eyes ; 
and the sobbing sound of the sea seemed to be deafening her. Ah, 
it is all very well for a woman to intend — ^a feather weight of chance, 
a smile even, and she forgets the very nature of her intentions. All 
the rustling silks and satins, all the rose-coloured lamps, every cushion 
and knicknack in the long drawing-room — what was the matter with 
them that they were difierent from any such that she had ever seen 
before ? She appeared to mark out every detail of each of them 
only with a casual glance ; just as she had marked out all the details 
of the woods and the rocky bay last week. She seemed to bask in 
the sparkling sunshine again, the pale lamp-light was changed into it. 
She was verily surprised at her own feelings, and tried to analyse 
them ; wondering if there was anything going wrong with her head. 

As the evening advanced, the colour of her expressive eyes seemed 
to deepen, and their brilliancy was replaced by a steady, clear, quiet 
light. She had analysed her feelings by that time ; she knew now 
what was the matter with them. A ray of last week's sunshine had 
been smouldering all the time at her heart, and now it had found its 
way out at last I How long would it shine ? When would the clouds 
come to obscure it ? It was the question which was ringing in her 
ears, the thought which changed the brilliancy into quiet light. 

It was a pity that she troubled even to consider it. That very 

220 Miss Oldham's Choice, 

evening Dr. Werner answered it for her. That very evening Dr. 
Werner offered her the house, 9, Barrington Crescent, arid all ikt 
was in it — and himself- — in exchange once more for — ^the Indian silk I 
And how could Miss Oldham refuse a second time to give up that 
Indian silk ? 

Miss Oldham accepted the offer. It was after she had accepted h, 
upon the steps, in the dusky, quiet night, that she suddenly asked Dr. 
Werner when the clouds would come. "Z:;^ 

And he answered, just as suddenly, with his arms around her : 

" Never." 


Ah, dearer still is the household name, 

As the swift years onward flow, 
Which sweetly once from the dear lips came 

That grew silent long ago. 
And now our faces are homeward set, 

How dear to our longing ears, 
Have grown those voices that call us yet 

By the names of our youthful years ! 

All tossed apart is our kindred band. 

Like boats on a stormy sea. 
Though we all set sail for the self-same land 

In whose haven we long to be ; 
But spent and weary, we onwards row 

Our welcome sweet to claim. 
For faintly still on each storm-worn prow, 

Is written a household name. 

Oh, mother, gone home so long ago. 

You have pleaded for us in prayer, 
Till our household names the angels know — 

They are spoken so often there ! 
And therell be great joy in Heaven one day, 

When over the pale sea foam 
All frail and shattered, and drenched with spray, 

The last of your boats comes home. 

Helen Marion Birxside. 



By the Author of "Ninety Years Ago.'* 


TN a little village or commune in the South of Brittany, a few miles 
^ from Vannes, stood a picturesque stone farm-house called St. 

The old grey walls were sheltered from the blaze of the sun, that 
in Brittany seems always to shine, by large chestnut trees now in full 
flower. It was a rough-looking building, this farm of St. Ebven, 
scarcely removed from any of the cottages round as far as appearance 
went ... 

Farmer Pichon was a well-to-do Breton peasant, and the farm of 
which he was owner had been in his family since the days of the good 
Duchess Anne, as Maltre Pichon would proudly assert. With his 
portly wife and daughters and his two sons, the farmer made a good 
living out of his land, tilling and working hard. Madame Pichon and 
her daughters attended the weekly market at Vannes, where they 
found a ready sale for their produce, and a day's gossip. Indeed, by 
Madame herself, as well as by Jeanne and Barbe, this weekly expedi- 
tion to the town was looked forward to with excitement 

St Ebven was the most important house in the commune ; many 
of the other habitations being merely the residence of the poor 

A pretty sight it was on a market day to see the Breton farmer and 
his family starting for Vannes. Maltre Pichon, in his Sunday best, 
the large black hat, contrasting well with the white jacket ; his blue 
breeches the one bit of colour in his attire ; the dark hair and olive 
complexion of the wearer, with the long sad eyes and straight nose, 
the almost universal characteristic of the Morbihan Breton, made, even 
without the adjuncts of the two pretty damsels and the commanding 
maitresse, a picture alone. 

Madame Pichon looked proudly at her girls on these festive days, 
for Jeanne and Barbe were always in full dress. The white cap 
suiting the blue eyes of the elder girl, Jeanne, to perfection. She 
was fair and bright rfarbe, on the contrary, was, like her parents 
and her two brothers, dark and very handsome. Jeanne Pichon 
resembled none of her relations ; in fact she was in no way like a 
Breton. Her eyes were blue as the sky, her hair was of a golden 
brown, and on her cheeks shone a delicate pink like a rose. It was 
no wonder that good Mattre Charles Pichon was proud of these fair 
girls. Some folks shook their heads, saying Maitre Pichon might 
find out one day that it did not answer to spoil children. 

222 The Old Stone Cross. 

One morning in early spring, under a lovely and cloudless blue 
sky, the family were on their way to Vannes, in their roomy and swift 
market conveyance, the farmer driving. The party had been talking 
and discussing their plans in the most lively way, until within a mile 
or so of the town ; when, as usual, silence fell on them until they 
should have passed the " Dolmen." 

A dolmen is an old Druidical remain, a stone formerly used in 
their religious rites. Down even to the present realistic days, the 
Bretons retain a superstitious awe of these weird old stones so plenti- 
fully strewing their land 

Left well behind them and the town of Vannes in view, its old 
gables and ancient walls shining out clear and white, the tongues of 
the travellers were unlocked again. ' 

" Soon be there now, mes enfants," Maitre Charles remarked ; his 
dark eyes brightening ; " n*est-ce pas ? " 

"Si, mon p^re. If we sell my eggs well, and all Barbe's 
chickens, then you promised us each a new pair of earrings, you 

.Pfere Pichon laughed ; he never could be angry with Jeanne. 

" Ah ! whom have we here ? " he asked, quickly, pulling up, as a 
young man suddenly turned, laying a light hand on the horse's long 
grey mane. 

A tall youth he, in the Breton dress, with rows and rows of silver 
buttons down his white jacket, and a smile on his handsome brown 
face. Gaston Michel's dark eyes looked very brilhant this spring 
morning, what with the fine weather and what with the meeting. 

"Cest toi, Gaston! On thy way to Vannes?" Mfere Pichon 
asked, in a friendly voice. 

Gaston nodded, holding up a large basket of rich and creamy 
butter to show his errand. 

" There's money there, mon ami," Jeanne said, in her laughing 

" I can buy the gold cross you wanted for next * Pardon,' " Gaston 
Michel in a low whisper answered quickly, putting one strong brown 
hand upon Jeanne's fair one. 

The girl blushed, and turned her head away from the young Breton's 
too admiring gaze. But she foigot to take away her hand. 

M^re Pichon's ears were quick. " What's that you are saying about 
a gold cross, Gaston ? " she interrupted, in a peremptory tone. " No, 
no ; keep your money, and don't waste it." 

" Right lad, keep it ; money comes in none too quickly," the farmer 
added, kindly. Jerking the reins, he drove on ; Jeanne and Barbe 
waving their hands, and in Breton dialect telling the youth they would 
meet again in the market 

Once inside the walls of Vannes, business was the order of the day. 
Bustling and jostling through the streets, the Pichons hastened to take 
their accustomed stand. There, amidst a quick and lively sale, varied 

The Old Stone Cross, 223 

and kept from monotony by interchange of conversation with neigh- 
bours, the day passed only too quickly — to Jeanne at least — for Gaston 
Michel had soon joined the party. 

" Tve bought the cross, my Jeannette," Gaston whispered, when he 
could gain her ear, as they were all preparing to depart. " I shall ask 
Pbe Gildas to bless it; then I give it thee." 

Gaston's eyes were looking what he did not say, when two more 
young men came up ; one of them so like Gaston Michel as to show 
that he must be his brother. The other was Alain Mauclerc. 

A frown gathered on the handsome face of the younger Michel, as 
Pierre, the elder brother, a very stalwart man, made straight for Jeanne's 
side and began whispering to her; while young Mauclerc devoted 
himself to helping the good mfere to pack up her empty baskets. 

Gaston Michel did not like the turn affairs were taking ; and not for 
the first time. Jeanne was his ; Pierre was welcome to Barbe ; but 
no one should make love to Jeanne, except himself. Had he not 
always loved her, and meant to marry her some day ? What the 
diable did Pierre want interfering with her ? He was always doing it 

This was rather hard on Pierre, for he likewise loved the pretty 
blue-eyed Jeanne Pichon ; and he had, equally with Gaston, resolved 
to win her for his bride. Alike in appearance, the two brothers were 
unHke in disposition. 

In one thing only were they agreed ; in their love for the fair Breton 


The middle of the week following Mfere Pichon sat in her doorway 
spinning, when she became aware of a shadow coming between her 
and the sunlight Looking up, she saw the tall, slight, yet athletic 
form of the younger Michel beside her. 

"Bonjour, mon ami," the good woman said in a hearty voice. 
Gaston returned the salutation, and asked if Jeanne were in. 

"Toujours Jeanne! You have thoughts for no one but her," 
replied the mother, with a shake of her head. 

" May I take her for a walk ?" he demanded, with his bright smile. 
"It is such a fine afternoon — ^look, madame — you cannot say me 
nay," he added, coaxingly. 

Mfere Pichon told him' he was a cunning knave ; but if he could find 
Jeanne he might take her. 

Gaston started off; soon returning with the object of his visit. In 
a few minutes the young couple were out of sight. Mfere Pichon, 
shaking her head sagely, recommenced her spinning with a self-reflect- 
ing word : " Eh, bien ! you were young once, mfere." 

Gaston Michel and Jeanne strolled on in the sunlight ; sheltered 
from the glare by the cool chestnut trees now in all their beauty. It 

224 ^*^ ^^^ Stone Cross. 

was an unusual pleasure for them to be alone together ; for in Brittany 
it is not considered quite the right thing. 

" This is paradise, sauntering down these lanes with you, ma mie/' 
Gaston said in tender tones. And Jeanne's blue eyes danced with 
pleasure as she heard. It was indeed paradise to walk thus with GastoiL 

But they were not talkative ; in fact, except now and then, neither 
spoke at all. Still there was no doubt they were enjoying their un- 
usual holiday. 

Presently Gaston drew his companion into a wider track. Taking 
her by the hand, he led her silently through a chestnut grove ; till, 
deep in the shelters of a cool glade, they stood before a large stone 
cross, or crucifix. Unloosing the girl's hand and going nearer, be 
threw his arms round the crucifix. 

"There !" he exclaimed, triumphantly, as he unclasped them. "I 
can just do it. Did you see, Jeanne ? You will be mine, my love, 
won't you ? " and the young Breton turned his speaking £ace with the 
glad light in the usuaUy grave eyes, on the blushing girl. 

She did not pretend to misunderstand him. In this district of 
Brittany, when a youth can clasp the old stone Cross, he is said to be 
old enough to marry. With her fair face turned to him and her blue 
eyes fixed on his, she gave her answer. 

" I will, mon ami." 

Gaston, took both her hands in one of his. Holding them tightly, 
he raised his broad hat with the other, and spoke solemnly in a clear 
tone : " Bon J^su, make me worthy of her ! " 

Then the two, kneeling by the old stone Cross, plighted their troth, 
imploring the blessing of the Bon Dieu upon their future. 

Once, as boy and girl, Jeanne and Gaston had stood by this same 
old stone ; there the boy had told the girl laughingly that she should 
be his little wife as soon as he could get both arms round the crucifix. 
And then once again, Gaston, with Jeanne at his side, had come to 
the Chestnut Wood. But, no ; the young Breton's arms were still not 
long enough to clasp the cross. 

Yet once more now, on this lovely spring evening, the two presented 
themselves before the time-worn and honoured emblem. And 
Gaston, grown to manhood, put his strong arms round the cross. 
Jeanne Pichon was his. 

With slow steps they left the shady and sequestered grove, looking 
back to the last. The sun, slanting down through the leaves, seemed 
to impart life to the still, carved form hanging on the old Cross. 

" You tremble, my Jeanne ! " the young lover spoke, as he felt 
the hand he held quiver. " Why ? " 

" I am afraid of Pierre," she answered. 

" Of Pierre ! Why of him ? " 

" Ah, mon ami, you do not know all," sighed the girl. " Pierre 
swears I shall marry him. Or else — I dare not think of it" 

" You are going to marry me ; not Pierre," Gaston replied, trying 

The Old Stone Cross. 225 

to speak lightly, for in truth he knew how vindictive his brother was. 
" Have you not just promised before the good Christ that you will 
be mine — my own dear wife ? Courage, my dear." 

" I tremble when I think of him. He says he will murder you 
if I marry you," Jeanne whispered, between her sobs. 

The Breton uttered some fierce invective. " Let him try,** he 
said to Jeanne. 

The sun's rays were getting low when Jeanne reappeared at St 
Ebven. To judge by her bright face, her lover's words must have 
/eassured her, and his parting caress was a sweet one. 

A storm in the meantime had been brewing at the farm. M^re 
Pichon's usually kind and comely face wore a portentous frown. It 
darkened when she saw her elder daughter. 

"Jeanne,'' she said, " I cannot have you trifling with that Michel 
youth. I hear he is but laughing at thee ; he is in truth betrothed 
Co Annette Ferrier, the rich heiress in Vatmes." 

Jeanne looked at her mother in amazement What could she 
mean? Gaston could not trifle I 

" Who has told you this, mother ? " she asked, quietly. 

" Pierre Michel, his brother. He has been here, and he told me 
that Gaston could but be playing with thee, when in sooth he is pro- 
mised to Annette. Pierre, ma fille, loves you himself; he waits but 
our consent to ask your hand." 

Jeanne laughed ; a scornful, angry laugh. 

" You don't believe him ! He is a vaurien, a sc^l^rat — ^va ! " the 
girl burst out 

" Well, I am not going to say but that thy father and I prefer 
Gaston," admitted Madame Pichon. " But " 

" Mother, listen to me for one moment : Gaston and I are 
faetrothed. We have been to the old Cross, now, this very after- 
noon ; he can get his arms round it, and I have promised him before 
Heaven, to be his wife. You will not deny it — ^you will say yes ? " 
And Jeanne threw herself down on her knees before her mother. 

'* Stay, stay, mon en&nt ; tu vas trop vlte. Tell me more quietly 
all about you and Gaston." 

Jeanne, retieved to find by her mother's tones she was not angry 
with her, told her everything. M^re Pichon had not been blind ; she 
had known of the love the two young people had for each other ; but 
iike her daughter, she feared the elder Michel Vindictive, sullen, 
and morose, Pierre was an object of dislike and dread to the whole 

The good woman, remembering the days when she had been young 
herself, dismissed her daughter with her blessing, together with a pro- 
mise that she would break the news to her father. Jeanne left the 
house in search of her sister, when suddenly Pierre Michel stood in 
the path. She would have passed him without speaking, but Pierre 
was not so minded. 

vou xu 

226 The Old Stone Cross. 

" Bon soir, Mamselle Jeannette,*' he said, with a grim smile. " Why 
so quick to avoid me ? " 

" You ask that ! — ^when you know you have been trying to poison 
my mother's ear against Gaston ! " returned the girl, indignant tears 
springing to her eyes, 

Pierre gazed at her in silence. " Si, si," he then said, in the 
guttural Breton accents. " And more than that would Pierre Michel 
do to win Jeanne Pichon." 

"You think I am to be won by such low means?" — a world 
of scorn and hatred in her voice. " Tiens, I would not marry you, 
Pierre Michel, though there were no such person as Gaston in the 
whole land of Brittany." And as Jeanne drew herself up proudly, 
Gaston's cross shone conspicuously on her breast 

The Breton's dark face wore an angry look ; a fierce fire leaped 
into his eyes, his frame shook. 

" Well see that, ma belle ! You shall not marry Gaston. I would 
shoot him at the very altar." And, with these words, shaking his fist 
savagely, Pierre disappeared. 

Frightened and excited, Jeanne returned home. But she said 
nothing of her rencontre with Pierre Michel. 


The good priest, P^re Gildas, had just celebrated early mass in his 
little church, and was leaving the sacristry to return to breakfest 
When about to close the door, his sight was attracted by a man 
kneeling near the altar of Notre Dame de Secours. His head was 
bent low on his hands, his body was heaving with low stifled sobs. 
The priest felt sure he saw one of his flock in some trouble. 

He went gently up to the kneeling figure, and laying a hand on the 
bent head, he spoke softly. " Are you in tribulation, mon fils ?" 

The man raised his face, and the P^re recognised Gaston Michel 

" What is it ? " he asked, kindly. 

" You cannot help me, mon pfere," Gaston rq>lied, rising at the 
same time from his knees. 

"Give me the chance," smiled the good father. But Gaston 
shook his head. 

Pbre Gildas led the young man away, and brought him to his 
small but pretty cottage. " Le caf6, Marcelle — ^vite," he called out to 
an old woman in the tiny garden, as he entered. 

" Qui, oui, mon p^re." And old Marcelle hastened to bring in the 
Curb's frugal breakfast. 

Not till his visitor had drunk some hot coffee and broken his fast, 
and, refreshed by the food and cheered by the kindness, looked a 
trifle less dejected, did the good father resume his questioning. 
Gaston spoke of what the priest already knew : his betrothal to 
Jeanne beneath the old Cross. He now told of his elder brother's 

Tlie Old Stone Cross. 227 

tnad jealousy^ and of his vow to kill him if he persisted in marry- 
ing her. 

The Pfcre listened to the sad tale with pitying eyes. ** You mean 
to many Jeanne Pichon ? You are sure she loves you best ? But 
I need not ask that," he added; "I know it." P^re Gildas had 
known all his flock from their cradles, all the younger members at 
least, and cared for each individually. 

" It seems to me," the simple-minded priest said, " as if this trial 
came straight from the Bon Dieu." 

Gaston smiled sadly ; he could not see it in that light ; and the 
Vht always did say everything came from the Bon Dieu. 

"Perhaps it is to try your patience, my son; to make you more 

"I do try to be patient, mon p^re. I have reasoned with Pierre, 
and gently too. I tell him if Jeanne likes him best she shall marry 

" What does Pierre say to that ? " 

"Ah, mon p^re, he only showers curses on me; he swears he 
will murder me at the very altar." 

Gaston shivered; the Cur6 looked sad. This seemed a case 
almost beyond him. But he did what he could, consoling and 
advising by turns ; and when at length Gaston took his leave, it was 
with a less heavy heart than he had brought with him. 

The days passed oa Spring changed into summer, and summer, 
in its turn, glided into autumn. And Jeanne and Gaston were not 
yet married, for the girl had such a dread of the jealous Pierre's 
canyii^ out his dreadful threat that she could not be persuaded to 
name the day. 

Poor Gaston I Poor Jeanne ! These were sad days for both of 
them. The patience Father Gildas had enjoined was indeed 
required in these weeks and months of waiting. 

" The Bon Dieu and the Holy Christ have forsaken us ! ** the young 
lovers often lamented, sadly, to one another. 

Michel the elder still persecuted Jeanne to marry him. Irritated 
beyond endurance at her steadfast determination not to answer him on 
this subject, he never left her without assurances so wicked that 
the girl shuddered even to think of his threats. 

" Ma pauvre Jeannette : I am so grieved for thee ! " Barbe said one 
day. " He is a mauvais, is Pierre. Were I you, ma soeur, I would 
marry Gaston, and, bah I not give the sc61^rat a thought'' 

Jeanne could not help laughing at the spirited sentiment. 

Barbe went on : "I may be married, after all, before you, Jeanne. 
The Bagvalan* came here a few days ago, and we all know what that 
means. It is not for nothing he comes. Then I and Ursule Rohan 
have visited the holy Uf6vribre twice this year, and both my pin 

* The marriage merchant of the Bretons, usually a tailor. 

228 The Old Stone Cross. 

and Ursule's stuck at once in her foot Now Anne Ferrier tried 
twice. No, her pins fell out, for all her grand dot" 

The kind Sainte Uf(§vri^re was the patroness of the young girls, 
and was supposed to smile, or not, upon their projects of marriage. 

*^ Is it Alain Mauclerc, Barbe ? " 

*' Mais oui ; who but he — ^bless his beau visage ! " returned the 
light-hearted Barbe, dancing round her sister. Then, remembering 
herself, she threw her arms round poor Jeanne's neck and burst 
into a flood of tears. 

" Jeannette, my darling, I love you so ! I can't bear to think you 
are unhappy ; nor can Alain." 

"You cannot help us, Barbe. No one can but the Bon Dieu, 
and it looks as if He had forgotten us — though the Pbre says it is 
wrong to say so." 

'* The Bon Dieu never foigets one of his children who trust in 
Him," Barbe answered sadly. 

"It is no use talking about our trouble, my Barbe," concluded 
Jeanne. " It is upon us, and we must bear it" 


In a low room in one of the rude cottages of the district, a wood fire, 
mixed with dried seaweed, burning smokily on a rough hearth, a large 
yellow dog lazily warming himself by the red embers, there sat the 
two brothers Michel at breakfast 

A very silent pair were they. An angry scowl distorted the hce 
of the elder; his black eyes lowered angrily as he now and then 
glanced furtively upwards. Gaston's eyes were bent on his breakfast, 
which he was eating as fast as he could That despatched, he rose 
from his chair, and stood facing his brother. 

" Pierre, I must speak. I cannot bear this persecution any longer. 
I mean to fix our wedding-day, and keep to it. It will be of no use 
your trying to stop the marriage." 

Gaston spoke very quietly ; he was determined not to lose his 
temper. But his mind was made up ; this state of things must end 
He could not see his Jeannette grow paler and thinner day by day. 

Pierre Michel did not answer for some minutes. Then, with 
angry, passionate vehemence, he bade his brother please himself. If 
he insisted on marrying Jeanne Pichon he would not leave the church 

" I'll shoot you with my own hands ; I have said it — and I mean 
it — so marry Jeanne at your peril," he raved, bringing his clenched 
fist down on the table with a force that made the crockery rattle, and 
the dog start up with a growl. Then, not waiting for any rejoinder, 
Pierre seized his hat, and rushed out of the cottage, banging the door 
after him. 

The younger Michel remained standing where he was; the 
violence of his brother had frightened him. What was he to do ? It 

The Old Stone Cross. 229 

was hard to give up the girl he loved ; it was hard for her to be told 
she mtist many another — ^whom she could not love. Yet, if Pierre 
fulfilled his threat, he, Gaston, was a dead man. 

And Pierre always kept his word. 

Poor Gaston ! he was very sorrowful, and his heart was like lead. 
He went about his daily work, feeling as if the spirit had gone out of 
him and he were turned to stone. Things looked so black ! 

The morning passed slowly away. When Gaston came in for 
the noonday meal, Pierre had not returned. For this he was glad. 
He felt too mad with misery to face so bad a brother. 

The afternoon also passed ; night came. The quiet autumn moon 
shone on the little Breton cottage ; shone on the Breton youth as he 
tossed uneasily on his bed, courting the sleep that refused to come. 
Pierre had not returned. Morning dawned ; but no Pierre. Gaston 
wondered ; and began to imagine all sorts of things. 

At noon, just as he came in for dinner, he suddenly noticed 
several of the villagers coming towards the cottage, bearing a burden. 
Hastening out, he recognised the motionless form of his brother. 

''Mon pauvre Gaston,'* began one of the men; "we found 
him lying on his face close by the large dolmen on this side Vannes. 
He must have been thrown from his horse, the jadis bSte I He is 
very bad, and senseless." 

Gaston helped to place him on the box bed, made as soft as 
possible with some hay under the quilt, and the men ran off for the 

Gaston sat by the bedside. No doctor was required to tell him 
that his brother would never rise again from where they had laid him. 
Death was marked in every feature. The cold dew-drops standing on 
the forehead, the laboured breathing were too sure evidence that there 
would be no recovery for Pierre Michel. 

Now and again the lips moved, and the patient watcher caught some 
broken words, of which he could make nothing. When the m^decin 
arrived, he saw at a glance that his skill could effect nothing. 

" A few hours, mon ami, and all will be at an end," he whispered, 
pityingly, to Gaston. He had been thrown from his horse ; his head 
was hurt, and he had sustained severe internal injuries. 

The busy m^decin took his departure ; he had other cases to attend 
to, other lives to try to save ; and P^re Gildas came in. 

Gaston's face brightened when he saw the kindly face in the door- 
way, surmounted by its worn shovel hat. The Cur6 advanced to the 
bedside, and made the sign of the cross over the wounded man. 

Perhaps Pierre had not been unconscious the whole time, or may be 
the priest's kind face brought him back for a space ; for the dying 
fireton opened his large, dark eyes, and muttered some words. 
" Dolmen — ^Jeanne — ^mourir," were all they could catch. 

" The horse was frightened and threw you, is that what you would 
say ? » Father Gildas asked. 

230 The Old Stcne Cross. 

Pierre signed assent 

" You want to know if you will die — is that it ? " continued the 
priest And the frightened, supplicating look in the large eyes was 
answer enough. 

The priest gravely told him — ^what indeed the dying man could not 
fail to know — ^that the doctor gave no hope. 

'^ You will ask pardon of the Bon Dieu before you die, my son/' 
the priest continued gendy. 

" Non, non — ^vengeance," Pierre muttered. 

Gaston withdrew ; he thought that, alone with the good P^re, his 
brother's heart would soften. He went outside, and sat on the stone 
near the door. Gaston gone, Pierre seemed quieter. Father Gildas 
drew a small crucifix from his pocket, and held it before the dying 

" The Lord Jesus died for you, my son ; will you not ask Him to 
pardon your bad thoughts, before you go to meet Him ? " 

He could not let this poor, sin-stricken soul appear before its 
Maker without striving all in his power to win for it foi^veness. 

" You are sorry now, mon ami, for your murderous, wicked 
thoughts. I know you are." 

" Oui — non" Pierre broke out again. Then, closing his eyes, 
he turned his face to the wall. 

The dews of death stood on his brow. The Cure bathed his 
forehead with vinegar. As the cool acid revived the dying man, he 
once more opened his eyes. 

Again P^re Gildas held the crucifix before Pierre. This time he 
did not refuse it He held out one hand. The priest put it in his 
weak grasp, and the fingers closed upon it 

" For the Lord Jesu's sake, pardon him, and receive him, oh, mer- 
ciful God ! " prayed the Cur^, fervently, as he knelt with upHfted 

Was his prayer to be answered ? Had he won a soul for his 
Master ? Was the Breton lad repentant ? 

The prayer of the good man was answered. The Lord God of 
Heaven had granted his petition. 

P^re Gildas distinctly caught the word twice, " Pardon — ^par- 
don !" 

" You die in peace with all the world, my son, especially with your 
brother ? And you hope for pardon for your own sins ? " 

Pierre signed assent, bowing his head. The father called in 

" He wishes to see you, Gaston ; he is anxious to ask for your 
forgiveness. Come.". 

Pierre lay quite still ; a softer expression on his dark, haggard face. 
His eyes sought his brother's ; he held out his hand. Gaston took 
it, and pressed it fervently. 

" Pardon," was the only word he spoke. It was enough for Gas- 

The Old Stone Cross. 231 

ton, the warm-hearted Breton lad. Bending over his brother, he 
assured him that he forgave him everything. 

A light broke over the face of the dying man. A glimmer of the 
light from above, thought the good priest, sent by the Saviour as a 
token of forgiveness to this erring sheep of His fold. 

Before the moon, then rising over the trees, shone through the 
casement, Pierre Michel was dead. The once jealous, revengeful 
spirit of the Breton peasant was at rest. 

" Peace be with him 1 " aspirated Pfere Gildas, as he closed the 
eyes of the dead man, and left the crucifix between his cold hands. 


Winter had passed ; the time of the singing of birds had come 
again. The chestnut-grove was budding forth in the joyous sunshine, 
making glad all hearts in this little commune. 

The old stone cross, with the still, inanimate figure of the Christ, 
stood where it had stood for centuries : a memorial of the devout and 
earnest &ith of generations, long since gathered to their rest 

On this joyous spring morning, Gaston Michel and Jeanne Pichon 
were once more standing beneath the old stone Cross. Hand in hand, 
they knelt on the green sward, and with hearts full of thankfulness, 
prayed for a blessing on the life they now hoped to live together. 

They thanked the Bon Dieu — ever called so in their simple 
phraseology — for having heard theu: petitions when they were in that 
dreadful strait ; and they vowed, by divine help, to spend the years that 
would be allowed them to His honour and glory. 

As they rose from their knees and prepared to leave the glen, a 
gleam of sunshine lighted up the old stone and shone down through 
the chestnut shade, its rays casting a halo of glory round the bent head 
of the Christ 

"Do you see that, Gaston?" exclaimed Jeanne, in excitement. 
*^ It is showing us that Heaven is pleased at our having come to this 
blessed spot" And Gaston bowed his head in reverence. 

Silently, hand in hand, the two who had just renewed the vows, 
made a whole long year ago, left the chestnut grove, and came out 
into the sunny daylight beyond ; their hearts in tune with the glorious 
blue sky and merry warbling of the birds. 

They, the two Breton lovers, were at last to receive the reward of 
their waiting. Darkness was gone, summer and happiness were before 
them : on the morrow they were to be made one. 

The Bon Dieu had heard their prayer. 

H. C. A» 



THE reader, on glancing at the above title, will probably think of 
every " loan " except the one the writer intends him to thint 
about. The business man will wonder if it can have reference to com' 
mercial " loans ; " the straitened man who has borrowed money from 
his friend will at once think of his debt. But how many mothers^ 
and fathers, as they read these words will think of their children, and 
in their hearts agree with Carlyle, who first made the statement? 
Not all parents, I fear. Yet believe it as we may or may not, the 
fact is there : children are sent to us simply as loans from God's great 
storehouse, and one day He will require them again, and He will 
undoubtedly make us responsible for the quality of the material we 
render back to Him. What He lends us pure and undeveloped, He 
will require again as a more developed image of Himself. 

You may say, on reading this, that all this is an unnecessary 
caution, for when God gives children, He gives the wisdom and love 
to guide and train them as well. Yes ; but parents distort that love 
and wisdom, and often ruin their children with an injustice which is. 
falsely called wisdom, or with a partiality which the idolaters fondly 
call love. 

There are parents and parents ; and if perchance this paper catch 
the eye of those belonging to the latter class, do not lightly pass it 
over as sentiment or nonsense, but take it to heart. God has put 
into your hands a responsibility before which you ought to pause and 

It is needless to remind you of what you can do with a mind 
which has been given to you, as all God's works are given in the first 
place, without spot or blemish, because I have something else to 
dwell upon, and your own heart can tell you about that other. 

In the frrst place my advice, nay, my entreaty, to you is — ^be careful 
how you judge your children. If you go into your garden, and see 
the tender leaves of the snowdrop peeping above the hard and frosty 
ground, you do not pluck them up in anger because the tiny flower 
has not appeared Yet some mothers and fathers do this, 
metaphorically speaking, with their children. And strange to say, even 
after they have done this, after they have torn the leaves from its 
parent root, where naturally it ought to rest, they expect growth and 

You, who turn to the absent, apparently stupid child, in your 
nursery, and openly chide it for a slowness which may only be a fore- 
runner of thoughtfulness and grave earnestness in life and its woric, 
are doing to your child what the illogical man would do to the leaves 
because the snowdrop had not yet appeared. Growths are not effected 

Inestimable Loans. 233 

in an instant ; and remember it takes longer to rouse a lion than a 
lamb. As Carlyle wisely remarks : " The quickest and completest 
vegetable is the cabbage." 

Nature is slow but sure in her developments ; and the higher the 
deyelopment, the slower she often is. One day's sunshine opens the 
bud of a wild anemone ; but years of sunshine and shower, of wind and 
calm are required for the full development of the oak. God has not 
put a ready-made character into your hands, but He has placed that 
little human life with you that you may lead it higher and higher to 
the light from whence it came, and whence it has to make its way 
back again. 

For I often think we are here somewhat in the position of a child 
who is being taught to walk. The mother sets it on its feet, not very 
far away from her ; though to the little one, full of unconscious dread 
at being abandoned even for so short a time by the loving hand, the 
walk seems never-ending. It has been put from its mother's arms to 
find its way back, and when it gets there all the misery is forgotten in 
the long kiss of endearment which is reward enough for its brave 

This, however, is a digression : a short allegory, if you will. What 
I wanted to show is that God has placed your child in your care in 
order that you may teach it to return to Him from whom it came : 
and this you can only do thoroughly when it is young ; for in the 
course of nature you must one day leave it, and it must fight for 
itself, and in its turn lead others. If you have one child in your 
family, not as pretty, not as bright and not as engaging as the others^ 
do not turn away ; for as the sun shines on the dandelion as well as 
the lily of the valley, so ought a mother's care and love to be shed 
upon tf// her children, be they what they may. You never can tell. 
That nature, which to you appears morbid and morose, may be so 
formed in order to bear future crosses and privations, trials that, may 
be, your bright, careless, impulsive child would sink under, or, worse 
still, grow cynical and sceptical under. 

I despise partiality where children are concerned. But if your 
nature is so constituted that it must be more forbearing, more loving 
and more devoted to one child than another, then let it be for the one 
who needs it the most Not the favoured child, endowed with nature's 
outward gifts, but that other, who, if deprived of the precious blessing 
of a mother's love, will begin to think the world is loveless, and will 
enter into the struggles of life under this impression, and gradually 
— unless some softening influence of either friend or teacher step 
in — ^through the belief that there is no love in your heart towards 
them, will gradually lose their belief in the love of God. This 
may sound nonsense, but it is not, for we judge God by our earthly 
relationships, and by our own feelings towards those relationships. 
There is no surer way of making a child a sceptic than by denying 
it the love which ought to be a type of that Higher Love, but which 

234 Inestintable Loans, 

is, alas, too often but a caricature of it. Fathers and mothers, I pray 
you, if you have no love in your hearts towards your children, have 

Never judge your children from your standpoint, but from theirs. 
Look back upon what has passed in your life before you arrived at 
the conclusions you hold concerning people and things. To 
go back to our metaphor about the anemone and the oak — ^many 
blustering storms and mighty winds passed over the sapling ere it 
came to be the strong and mighty giant of trees it is : sunshine and 
dew have called forth the anemone, and sunshine, and dew are neces- 
saries of its life. You are the oak, your child the anemone — give it 
dew in the shape of a mother's love and a fath^s confidence, and 
sunshine in the fact of letting it know and frel that there is ofu place 
in the world where it can always go for help and comfort — ^home. 

I think it is Miss Muloch who says in one of her works that some 
parents think that if they give their children food and clothes it is 
all they need for happiness : and she goes on to say that the treatment 
resembles that of a man who gives his flowers everything necessary 
for their growth but sunshine, and wonders that they do not live. 

Sunshine is a necessity in every life, but especiaUy in the lives of 
children. I am no advocate for spoiling children, but I am an 
advocate for the bestowing of love upon them. They, who are, as it 
were, fresh from the hands of Him whose ruling name is Love, must 
be led to that divine Love through the medium of the human, as the 
flower, when it feels the warm rays of the sun upon its leaves, through 
that very warmth lifts its head and looks up to the sun from whence 
the heat emanates. He who was both human and divine puts 
mighty instruments in our poor weak hands, which we can use for 
good or evil, for a mighty and an awful responsibility is the great gift 
of influence. 

Surrounded as we are, or may be, by wife or husband, children or 
pupils, friends or acquaintances, let us remember that they are but 
" loans " which have been lent by the Master, and we shall be respon- 
sible — individually responsible — for each look, word and act which has 
had any relation to them, and which undeniably has made them either 
weaker or stronger for good or evil. 

E. M. 0. L 



" TT was really very jolly of Uncle Christopher to send that tip," 

-*- gratefully remarked Tom Candlish, as he looked admiringly 
round his small room at Oxford. A sympathising but somewhat 
envious friend sat on a tin box and surveyed all the new acquisitions 
with a sigh — for alas I he had no Uncle Christopher. 

" Yes, yes, you are a lucky dog ! " 

"Why, you see," said Tom confidingly, "it happened just at the 
right time. I owed a little, and that's paid." 

" Horribly lucky ! " groaned the friend. 

"And then I wanted to enjoy a good river trip, and hadn't any 
tin until this came. Now all these things and a new boat make every- 
thing jolly." 

" Horribly jolly 1 " said the friend, pulling his hat over his eyes. 

" I say, old chap," observed Tom, genially, as he laid down a 
portable bath in its neat-fitting case, " you're a cup too low ! Have 
some champagne ? " 

" Why, Tom," said the other, raising his hat from his eyes, with a 
look of responsive, geniality, " you don't mean to say your admirable 
relative sent you a tip and didn't saddle you with a blue ribbon ? " 

For answer Tom Candlish pulled forth a champagne bottle, sent 
the cork off in a most boisterous manner, and filled a bumper for 
Mr. Alfred Webbs. That young man did not make any remark before 
drinking, lest the fizz should subside, but when he set down his 
tumbler with a thankful sigh, he said : 

" But, come now, Tom, what is the saddle ? There must be one, 
or your uncle is unique." 

"Well," said Tom, laughing and blushing too, " there is and there 
isn't That is to say, it ought to be looked on as a greater blessing 
than the tip." 

" What," cried Mr. Webbs eagerly, " expectations ? Convertible 
expectations ? " 

"Great expectations, but not convertible," announced Tom, 
buckling a portmanteau with extra vigour. " The fact is I'm going to 
be married." 

" 0-ooh I " groaned Mr. Webbs. 

" Have some more champagne, Webbs. You're decidedly a cup 
too low." And Webbs took it, drinking silently. 

" You see, Webbs, I've always been expected to marry my uncle's 

" And you'll do it," said Webbs, with solemnity. 
"Of course," replied Tom. "But first I'm going to have my 
camping out — and a lovely summer it is for it ! " 

236 Camping Out. 


A WEEK later found Tom Candlish gently sculling down stream, 
ever and anon casting glances of fond admiration on his canvas 
covered possessions— everything a man could wish for. He re- 
proached himself that even the lack of a wife did not dim the horixon 
of his tranquil happiness. 

The first available place for erecting all the patent protections 
against weather which he possessed caused real excitement A 
charming bit of meadow, which in the evening light seemed far fo>m 
any habitation. 

" Delicious sense of solitude ! " soliloquised the young man, as he 
unpacked his treasures in the gentle silence. '' What a rest after the 
Babel of last night ! " 

The tent was fixed up manfully. 

" Splendid! As firm as a rock !" pronounced the owner, warm and 

Then there was the air-bed to inflate — Oh ! Aad he forgotten the 
bellows ? An agonized search, during which he mentally questioned 
if all the breath in his body would fill the flat indiarubber object 
lying on the turf. At last, rolled up in a flannel shirt— -the 
bellows ! 

" That^s all right," contentedly, proceeding to blow vigorously. 
Then, our Oxford friend objected to bathing in the river, and had 
brought a large portable badi, which he now took from its case and 
drew into position by certain necessary tyings. 

"I'll fill it over night,'' said he, " and have nothing to do but plunge 
in the first thing to-morrow morning." 

For this purpose he had a large tin jug which he filled many times. 
Having seen the inflated bed, some fine Scotch rugs, and the well 
filled bath all in readiness in the small apartment made by his tent, 
our young friend went outside it and cooked a steak in a manner 
which, if a cook had done it, would have been strongly objected to, 
but as a first personal effort was regarded as a triumph. Munched 
with a roll, a dash of pickle and a healthy appetite, our hero was right 
in saying he had supped " like a prince." 

The moon rose, and with a lingering look at the romantic sur- 
roundings, Tom Candlish betook himself for the first time to his rest 
under canvas, vowing he could understand gypsies enjoying their 
freedom — ^as many a man has done before him. 

He was very tired, and sleep needed no second beckoning. He 
had meant to see the sun rise, but that feat had been performed three 
hours before his waking. When he did wake his sensations were 
curious and his remarks, uttered aloud, incoherent 

" It's been raining after all, then ! What a cheat that tent fellow 
is ! Horribly wet everything is ! " 

Rubbing his eyes impatiently, Tom raised himself with a cramped 

Camping Out. 237 

sensation and looked about him. He beheld his bed quite fiat, 
and realized he had not tightly screwed the air valve. A general 
dampness of clothing caused him to remark that he had not success- 
fully tied his bath into shape, the many jugfuls of water with which 
he had filled it having gently poured over him in the night from one 
of the relaxed places in the rim. 

" Horrid bother, new inventions ! " he growled inwardly, straighten- 
ing himself, and feeling his damp flannels. " Sha'n't take a bath this 
morning." Indeed there was none to take, unless he braced it up 
and refilled it. 

Warm sunshine tempted him outside, and he had just emerged 
when a sharp terrier's bark was followed by a lady's voice exclaiming : 

''Another of those tiresome camping-out people! Too bad!" 
And he looked up to meet the stem reproof of an elderly maiden's 
eyes, and the half amused, half angry gaze of a bright blue pair, pos- 
sessed by a girl of eighteen. 

" I b^ pardon," he said, bowing, in happy forgetfulness of his un- 
brushed head and general d^habille. ''I thought I might camp 
here — saw no notice-board." 

" It is never allowed," said the spinster, firmly, with a glance of 
intense contempt at the cooking-stove. 

Poor Tom was quite distressed, but a bright young laugh cheered 

" You look very wet I Have you tumbled in ? " 

" No," said Tom, colouring painfully. " It isn't the river — it's my 

Upon this a fit of laughter threatened to seize the young lady, who 
suddenly forced herself into supernatural gravity. 

'' Damp clothes ! " exclaimed the elder of the maidens ; " terrible 
risL Put some dry ones out in the sun at once, and then change. 
Come home, my love." 

They vanished, and after that graceful figure, that laughing face, 
went Tom's young heart ! All damp as he was, all cheerless as his wraps 
were, he threw himself down hopelessly on the flat air-bed. 

" It's a shameful thing for a man to be sold like a slave to a woman 
he has never seen — as / am ! " was his damp lament 

The necessity for action roused him ; and having clad himself in some 
of the admirable flannels with which what he now regarded as his 
uncle's bribe had richly provided him, he vigorously pulled down his 
tent and bundled his possessions together. 

" Now I'll make some coffee." 

The stove was ready, so was the water, but, alas ! the matches had 
shed their last chance of lustre in the overflow of the bath ! Tom at 
the moment revengefully reflected on the peculiarities of an old great- 
aunt he possessed, who contentedly averred that one of her chief ideas 
of happiness in the next world lay in the hope that she should there 
meet and converse with Noah ! 

238 Camping Old, 

'^ I wish she had my luck ! " he muttered, looking disconsolately 
round, and knowing well he was a good two miles from any inn; "she 
wouldn't like so much water ! " 

At this moment a gardener's boy passed a few yards off. " I say," 
called Tom, " can you give me a match ? " The boy looked round 

" Ain't got none — but I'll see for one, if you like.** 

With that, he sauntered round to the kitchen premises, which Tom 
now saw were quite near, only concealed by shrubs and trees. 

The cook was feeding some chickens, and the enquiry for matches 
for a " gent on the river," ruffled her. 

" Well, to be sure ! we ain't got enough work to do but must tiy 
and serve them idle fellows besides ! " 

Tom's need for his breakfast had made him stroll near to get his 
matches. He propitiated the cook with a smile which was insincere 
in its geniality, and a coin which was genuine. 

" La ! sir, wet through all night I Stop while I goes in." 

The result of this go of cook's was that she reappeared with some 
hot coffee, and the gracious permission from her " missus," to get his 
wraps dried before he went on. 

" Because she's a martyr to rheumatics, sir, and don't want to see 
anyone nin a risk before their time." 

Tom gratefully held the jug of hot coffee, but felt painfully placed 
as to where to drink it He couldn't go to the kitchen, and therefore 
carried it towards his boat where cook was busy hauling out wet plaids 
and wraps. 

The same sharp terrier's bark caused him to turn ; and there in a 
very high breakfast cap of muslin, he beheld the elder divinity of his 
morning's adventure pursuing him, while in the background he could 
distinguish her fair companion stuffing a pocket-handkerchief into her 

" Sir ! Mr. I'm sure I don't know your name ! ^my servants 

tell me you are in great danger of taking cold, and, though it might be 
dangerous as a rule to admit young strangers, I hope you will come 
inside while we arrange about your things." 

Tom Candlish bowed gratefully, and followed the lady, still carrying 
his jug. 

" My love," said the mistress of the house, addressing the pretty giri 
who was in the dining-room they entered, " this gentleman will take 
some breakfast Pray sit down, sir." 

Accordingly Tom sat down, and rested his untasted jug of coffee, 
now luke-warm, on the table. 

" Dear me ! Let me send this away ! " pursued the now attentive 
hostess, whose interest in Tom's good-looking face and i^reeable 
appearance increased every minute. So the jug disappeared, a tempt- 
ing breakfast took its place; a friendly butcher arrived whom the mis« 
tress must see personally^ and Tom was left eating and drinking while 

Camping Out. 239 

the bright blue eyes threw occasional shy glances at him, their owner 
leaning against the side of the window, pulling rose-leaves from the 
branches above her head. "What a picture," thought poor Tom, 
disconsolately ; and so many another would have said. 

Then back came the old lady. 

" Hope you're comfortable, Mr. " 

"Candlish," said Tom, rising, with a courteous bow. 

" Ah, Candlish — ^yes, I know the name. Your things are drying 
beautifully, cook says. Quite extraordinary the interest she takes in 
them, my love," addressing the young girl, " for she is rather bad- 

Tom smiled, thinking of the silver key to cook's affections. Then 
he felt it his duty to hasten his departure. 

*^I am really ashamed of intruding on your kindness longer, madaml 
If you will allow me to prepare my boat for starting." 

"Well, if you wish it They shall bring your things shortly, and 
we will stroll across the lawn with you." 

" Here's your parasol, auntie," said the girl, at the same time placing 
a sailor-hat on her pretty golden head. Auntie and the parasol rested 
in an arbour, while the two young people stood by the flowing, sparkling 
river — ^freighted with dangerous charms in such an hour and such an 
opportunity ! 

" So your boat is called the Flora^^ skid the girl, lifting her arch 
eyes to his. 

A dull cloud and angry frown crossed Tom's face. 

"Yes, but that will soon be painted out," he said, with a firm com- 
pression of his lips. 

" Why ? " asked the maiden, innocently. 

" Because — ^because I'm not a humbug, and I don't like one name 
on my boat, and another in my heart," blurted Tom, an honest flush 
on his handsome face, as he looked down With rapidly-beating pulses 
at the ^ir face and form beside him. 

Provokingly sweet and calm was the expression with which she said : 
" And pray what name is in your heart ? " 

" By heavens ! I don't know ! I wish I did ! " cried poor Tom, 
despairingly, as he beheld cook labouring down with his wraps. 

The atint drew near, there was nothing for it but to go, and it was 
a hard struggle — that courteous leave taking and thanksgiving. 

" So glad to have been of use ! Hope you won't suffer ! " said the 
old kdy, genially, as Tom raised his straw hat and glided away on that 
stream which now seemed hurrying him from all he cared for, and to- 
wards all he hated. 

" Oh, to be back at Oxford, with my debts, my short purse, and my 
freedom ! " sighed the poor boy. 

Tom's uncle was a rich old lawyer. He was surprised one evening, 
just after dinner, by a visit from his nephew. 

240 Camping Out, 

" What, my boy, tired of holiday-making ? *' he asked, genially. 

" No, sir, it's not that," said Tom, bracing himself for a disagreeable 
duty ; " but I'm sorry to tell you I can't marry your ward. Flora 

Mr. Christopher Candlish seated himself, resumed his table-napkin, 
commenced the peeling of a juicy pear, and calmly enquired : 

" Are you mad, sir ? " 

"Veiy near it," assented Tom, miserably. "You see, Uncle 
Christopher, it has all happened since you sent me that note — ^that 
kind cheque." 

" What has happened ? " 

" I love another, sir — ^love her as my life!" cried Tom, desperately. 

A look of amused relief crossed Uncle Christopher's dry counten- 

" What, since four days ago ? that will soon right itself ! " 

" No, sir, never ! I would not be such a scoundrel as to wed a girl 
who trusted me while my heart was another's." 

" Thaf s all very well ; but you have not engaged yourself, I sup- 
pose ? " 

" Of course not, sir. My promise is not my own till you release me," 
said Tom, proudly. 

" Say no more to-night," said Uncle Christopher ; " take a glass of 
wine, go home, and come here at one o'clock to-morrow. I must, of 
course, consult Miss Lennox." 

At one next day, Tom was ushered into the drawing-room of the 
dull London house. A young lady rose as he entered. Shy and 
blushing charms met his astonished eyes — charms he thought were 
blooming miles away on the banks of the Thames. 

He stepped forward impetuously. 

" You are " 

" Flora Lennox," said the soft voice, regaining its merry archness. 
" My aunt hoped you would breakfast with her the next time you 
camped out on her ground — ^but your uncle sent for me to— to give 
you back your promise." 

But he never took it — ^and the name on his boat was not painted 
out, for very soon a sweet wife, named Flora, steered his boat and 
guided his heart on the mysterious ever-changing river of life. 

Minnie Douglas. 


Goodall's Household^ Specialities. 


The viost Delicious Sauce in the World. 

Makes the daintiest Dishes more delicious. 
Bottles, 6d., l8., and 28. each. 


Hie only substitute for Eggs yet discovered. 

One Sixpenny Tin will go as far as Twenty Eggs. 
Sold in Id. Packets ; 6d. and Is. Tins. 


Makes Delicious Custards without Eggs, and at Half-price, 

In Boxes, 6d. and Is. each. 

Proprietors : GOODALL, BACKHOUSE & CO., Leeds. 

For 100 excellent and palatable HOUSEHOLD RECIPE& 


Enclosing a Penny Stamp for postage, when you will be presented with a valuable book 
of loo pages, bound in cloth, and fully illustrated, called. " GOOD THINGS," MADE, SAID^ 



For Hbadachk, Ska or Bilious Sickness, Constipation, Indigestion, Lassituur, Low 
Spirits, Heartburn, and Feverish Colds, prevents and quickly relieves or cures the 
worst form of Typhus, Scarlet, Jungle, and other Fevers, Prickly Heat, Smallpox, 
Measles. Eruptive or Skin Complaints, and various other Altered Conditions of the 
Blood. **It 


" for the Fever bad obtained a strong hold on me. In a few days I was quite well." — Extract from a letter of 
C. Fitzgerald, Eiq., formerly Correspondent of the Manchester uuardian in Albania, referring to 


Drs. Morgan, Turlby, Gibbon, Dowsing, Carr Jackson, Milne, and others have given unqualified 
tcstioiony in favour of it Sold by all Chemists m Patent Glass-stoppered Bottles, 2m. 6d., it. w., 111., 
and 21t. each. 




MiawroTaitMrnyHoaM. oaves Money, fj O Li LI 

"•"^^ Labour, Time, Fuel, ^ ^^ ** 


and Temper. WATER 

Boon to Jtirh and Poor aiilie. 

A Lady writes to the Queen, July a4th, i88o :— '* I find it saves time and 
materia], as the clothes require less rubbing and no boiling. I wish to reconi'v 
mend it to every housewife. Its cleansing properties far exceed anjrthing I 
ever hoped to use, and the economy in time and coal is well worth while." 
Sold hy Orocera and Oiltnen everywhere. 

JAs. Sinclair, southwark street, london. 



•' Very IMffrttiUti—XiitHHoMt—MBiU in 1 aHmttte-So JxtUliig nor wtralnfmg twgKlml." 

Allen ^ Manhury^ 

MALTED "ajl £\ g\ fV FOR INi-ANTS 


A higUy conantrattd and uif-dignting nulri mint Jor young chitdrin ; sufplying all tAa( ii te- 
quirtdfor tki fommtio* of firm fltsk and bont in a partially solnblt and easily aaiMiiabU /orm. St 
alio affordi a suilaitiing and hiallh/u! diit/or Invalids and Hast of a dyspiptit Itndtncy. 

■■M)' child, after being II Desih'i door for wulii from eihiualiDS, caaiEi|UEBl upoD uvere diinheu, ani 
inabilily Ifnlain any form nj •InlauW Fooi' vr UUk,htf^ato impToiB fnmwdutelybe took >oiit nulMd pn- 

»»..»» .n ... n.™ «™ .n , .nt .~T-.» .n ».. . « tap 7 1. ^ ^» ^^OJJj^ P.R.C.S., U.R.C.P. 



.4 large variety of Patterns with both PLAIN and PAMCY edges 
always kept In stock. 






JAMES E EPS & CO., Homoeo pathic Chemists. 

J. OODIK AHD ca, riiaTni, tjt, »i, johm ■riirr. «.e. 

-"^is SIXPENCE. 



^ts Henry Woo({ 






■ the bcil knomi itidedj 

a Dr. J. HouHSKLL, Bridport, 

-I NoTTiiiB a ipecific for Tot--- 

AS invalvabtt/' 

'I Nsrrlna," writes 

ToatbMks, i« Uidical Tiilinmitls. 

rt, A CouuiRciAL TiAviLLii wrilci:-" 1 hmi 

h- and recamraended BoBtvra Manlaa fcriUti 

roliaf has baea obLaidfl 

aod mad^ sJAcpleu uiibc*^ 

Sola *MrviiiAar«, I*, lid. imd 9*. 90, 



For Stove* or Inm Wm 


For Bright Gra t w inil Fin 



or Metsli A Glass ofsUDescripliooi. 


Does oot injure tlie Silset. 


> Houae complete without them. Sold everywhere. \ 

Manufactory: 87. MANSELL STREET, E. [ 


strengtbcns the HaJr of children and adults ; contunt i 
nor mineral iagredients ; sold in Golden Colour alto 
sizes 3/6; 7/6: 10/6; and 31/. Avoid spnriona iraitatioDk 

Sold everywhere. 


is a fragrant toilet powder, in white, i 











Qreat ftedaoUon in price to 9d. per lb. \ 


THS MWem in nhicb OOBDON'B EXTBACT it 
bild b owlni to the ful lliil It caro Sour 
StOBueh, Rliinc el Pood, Diin Ha(d, Tute io tha 
Uoalb, PalpitBdoD, Sick Heidmcbe. HaoHL 5U(- 
unl^voUtko, Coated Timcaa, Palm in Ihs IJmbi, 
AcoDlBa attar Food wG«airal MiMir froa EiiiBi!. 
BtUoBaaaa, Flatalwca, Hwnbun, and all Uw inaiir 
nmpUBi of LJTB CoopltJBi, Drnmia, Kidoer 
Diaeaaat, Cooadulioa and thdt ilUod trovblci. 
OOBDOll'B BX1UOT alTardi reUsf to tha moit 
dileucd. and mrda off manr an atuck tbil wars 
ottwcwiia deadlj, irbila «idin( Ibg pleiMiiI digHiiaa 
of tooi. ao tbai naitber eic«i. •ronj, oTBtwork. 

hck of auKlM or eiceu. can iafliei harm u pon 
ihoao who, beioc wix. ktep OOKDOITS BXTKiOT 
b7 tbam for occuional OM. It coiti onlf u. par 

>— II. LmflAuo, Loa- 

1 >Dd DBulmouilT apprared b^ 

, ^moDg irhom sra ihtea Doelon of 

Divlnitjr, two Doclora at Lin, Bevsral hundreds of 
Utatora and Bacbaiora of Art. and tha moat laAiien- 
tlai and popular HlDlaUia of all daaomiutioni 
TsatimonialaftomiooClaigTinai potlfrea onippli 


IVl IhsirMlBbialedFI 

ing (really redoced pncea ; 

No. I. SiHOLi Bid, BoLsmit, and Pillo*, 

6lt.]ln.b;ift.6io.,ii'ei^iiKt°'bi. XL H 
No. a. I>ouwj[BaD,Bai.iTaa.udTi>oPii. 

ingjD J1». M. .. .. tit, H 

No. J. DouBLtBiD.BoLnia.andTwoPiL' 

LOWS, B It. 6 in. t>r 4 ft. 6 in., wii^- 


botila.Ialeaaihani . 

Any ailed had onlj gd. per lb-, inclodiaf FeaiM 
Q white fburdared) IKk, makinf. packiiu. wnn«^ 
md carriagt jaid la any tlatioi] in the Umltd h'-if 

a; but sntd dinct from imr amn /actoty. 

'eaiber PDiifiera, Boitoa. LincolDbbire, tv k^^- 
nly paymenl ehould be made bj Cliec)« or PJ) :. 
rhich, to JB^ora lafa datiyBr* ol Coodi. ma? hm bib 
- ■ ■ .9d.perlh. krm 

_ ila. Tbe Tradiari 





It ia lome monih* aiaee *« Us ^<s 
tiled tbe Celebriied NorwoKun Sirr'-' 
hut everr day aince have we bad Inqa.-^ 

' 1 peraons aiUng at it th«* cook fL 

.^ ._,i^3j 

are made oi fell tbnnduKii ai 

I caaifarlaUe,.(ooi^ loeld^ and *SX. 
mai.y alipperi charged u. and ii. td, for. The immeBie ftelinf of rallaf that a eiperjuieeaaB pafli^* 
pair of eaiy alippen after a dB;r'a work, whether to (he princa or the peaiaM. a ia o M li lor «■ kiMa 
mimbenwe tan. Ladies and nentlwaeo bvy then) bacaiue die^ »re tood looking enongh fcytta da*" 

«a free, al Ae JiOavliiC ?v> 
ken at a ttna,«Cgk Fbb >^ 
I ; aad IO mnrttaHbiai prs 

ane pair at firil. Thejcan be 
i', and Ladies', U. U. ; '' — ■- 

s because. In addluoa 

> coDd looking anongb ft 

a (hii, Ihej ai* to ilaifiiHj i 

lEiuieracirlalor black, carriage fraa, al "*-- '-" — ' 

,ll.Sa. lllhreepairsate taken Bt - - 


6 and 7, Bith Place, Kensington High Street, KensIngtOh, London. W. 



fEIIINGS' GHILDREH'S POWDERS " couoes, qoxjjb, asthmas, «<>. 

Fc:C!iil<]i«Cgl1iD| IbeliTntta.IopnTCElCoDTDl^otii. ZJ Sold In Boui. ml ii. i^J. uiil wllhdirsc- 
[!t,milsMLatCalimul.OMiim,Miirf%ia.i,ra*nhHir n"™*- SmtpaMl-iiM Ipr ij SumM. DiteclW 

tuimttia u n Imdtr bait.) ^ Atrmo Fikhisoi, Weil Cowm, 1,w. 

kll ii soaped Boio, Hi ii. ltd. ud tr. 9^. (gnU ^C Tlit larjat liu £ua. n. jd. Ij) itam^. ^«l 

Bi »,<riili(airdHKiioas. SnI poit-ftH for i] itwnpi. ^ /nf), eofilaiii MfW 1»hi 1A( guHtiVo/ Mt inuJI 

I'r.ri ID Amis Funtiioi. Wat Omai, l.W. £ »'«. 

tul imlw' Bmr Hatkafi Book, which coo- - Read FMBlnnr BmrMdri DootW. SenI 

'>i:^>iliuH>irni1ioD PiiDiiia.THTfliHa.WuRiiia, poit-f™, 13 »t«Di|>«. Direct A. F»mici»q^W<M 

S:.:e7ji.6,1c. JukjaatCheadttloraJmcxrpj. 

poit-fne, 13 *tl 


Ami-DtsrirTic Cocoa, 01 Chocouti Powsix. 


ConiiiUiii ulcly of Iha Finut Cocoa BeiDi with (he eic« of Fil ntiutsd. Uids 
iluunsoiuljF wiiti boiling wnlu. Keepi Is ill Clim>I<i. Pilauble wilhoDl Ifillc 

Tkk FjtcuLTT promituico il "lb* moil DStiidoiii, peilscUT di|s91ibla Bave[>(« foe 
■Ejik»et, Luhchioh, or Surnii, und ioviliublB far lanUdi nod Childim." 

thickuDBd j*t imik«D»d with uronTOOt, 

Brcakfut cup, coitiag las than ■ Htlfpe 
iibeioMt dalicate,dLjicitiblD,chupflil Ve 
ud maj bs taken whan richer Chocolate il prohibited. 
Sold by all Cbemiati and Groeen, in a1r-ti(hl tina. il 11, M., 31., si. 64.. tc. 



AU the Latest Ihprovsuents. Gives 
UORB LISHT than any other Duplex Burner 

Atk/or Illa»t»ted Catalogus 0/ any 

Lamp Dtalar. 

luLMnatically puttijii QUI the flan: 




"Tsa Qdhh' »!•;—■' The novel idea of corering wiih Wd IhoH parta 
•hlchwear out first is m»l practice;, tt noi oalj rresarrBa, but (iTei 
iddiliooal ilrenglh." 

"TMi Youno Laorn' Jourhai," »«p:— ''Ii elegant in form, lijbt la 
reight, and marreUonalj atrong." 

Of an Dt* 

No.i. No.l. H0.3. Na,4. No.s(ut!n). 

5i. lid. 71. lid. 10». 6d. IBi. 6d 21i. 

ItitL JiKUUAr AUVt.KIl^ti.K. 


It produced \rj 


II nuUinifrsit puril|r ind dslEocj' of Compleilon 
rfcaorei freeklfll^ tan and radaau, and promalu 
hMHhT kclion, •olttwn ud eluUclij' of llw Skin 
ud li rccommcndwl io prefgiciK* lo lar olhar pie- 
panUon br lbs Usdicil Froteniaa. 

Sold bjr DnggliM. Hilf-pinli, i/g; pinl*, 4/6. 


— Jll, CoilTInTIOH, iHDiaMTIOH, Ll 

IH ColDl, ptaTffiU lod quicklT lelisva 
-lu ud Olbar Fiiaas, PaiciLV Ha 
KTa, and Tarlooi other AJtatod Cod 


'■ for the FeTBr bad obtained ■ alreng hold on ma. In a (aw dara I waa qi<te well."— Ejrtratf/rwii a lit. 
C FOltmli, £if., foimerlj CotrapoDdent of the UaiKhattr Cuardia* Cn Albania, refairlng to 


Dn. UoiioAii, TuaLar. Gibuh, Dowiiho, Cak* lAciaoH, Milki, and olbera biTO giTeo noau 
leatlmaojlofaToucol it. Sold b^ all Chsmiaia tn Patmi C1aa*-iiapper«d Bottlaa, la.M^to.M., 




PURIFV THE BLOOD, act pomifullT. lal tootb- 
liudVpOB the LlVSRaod STOMACH, riWni TONE 
BS6RGY and VIGOUR to theie graal UAIN- 






A Plain Statement of Fact 1 

You can now buy 


Dress Fabrics 

Manufactured at CHABLESTOWN MILLS, 


Richard Ecroyd 


BI&MII0HA1C 1 136 p Hew 8t. I LIVERPOOL i 47, Bold BtrMt. 
LEEDS : 0, Bond Street. SHEFFLBLD i 29| Higli Street. 

DE&BI: 18, Wardviok. EDINBUBOH: 116,aeorge St. 

MAV0HB8TEB : 104, Deaaegate. 
HOTTnraHUC: is, Xarket St. 
GLASGOW : 266, SancblebaU St. 

BI: 18, Wardviok. | EDINBUBGH: 116, George St. GLASGOW : 266, Sai 

Novelties and New DeHgnSf Shades^ Colours, Mixtures, 

UiL WOOL CASHMERES : Brilliant Finish, Superb Dye, Choice Colouri, 


ALL WOOL CASHMERES : Brilliant Finish, Superb Dye, Choice Coloun, 38 to 46 in. 
wide; all Wool, is, xi^tf. to 3J. jd. per yard. 

FOULS SERGES : 24 to 27 in. wide, gd. to is. yd, 

HEBINOES : Blacks and Colours, 4a to 46 in. wide, 3S. 2d, to 6s. per yard. 

BEIGES: 34 to 26 in. wide, ii^d, to is. 4d. 

NUNS' VEIUNQS : Printed, lovely Patterns, 22 to 25 in. wide, lod, to is. 3^. per yard. 

CANVAS and BASKET CLOTHS : In the latest fashionable Shades, for Ladies' and 
Childieo's Dresses, Costumes, Ac, 25 in. wide, from is, 2id, per yard. 

ALL WOOL (Double Width) SERGES, for Hard Wear: For Tourists, Travellers, Sea- 
side, Yachting, 44 to 47 in. wide, is, yd, to 25. j^d, per yard. 


As a Manufacturer I shall necessarily be constantly introducing New Fabrics in my speciality 
Ckss. As New Standard Makes are Produced I shall represent them in my Collection, 


object is to supply, as far at is poMible, Goods made 
hj British Laboar. and under a genuine description. 

RBUABIUTT. Silk aoths shall be all Silk. Wool 
Fabrics shall be all Wool. Mixed Fabrics shall be 
labelled as Silk and Cotton, or whatever the mixture 
n»7 be, and to on through all the various textile 

TAEIETT.— The bulk of the Goods are manufao- 
tan>d at my own Mills; at the same time a great 
variety of Material for Ladlsf* and Ghfldren's Drest 
is OD Sale at the Retail Depots as above. My 
technical knowledge enables me to buy in Bnglisn 
and Foreign Markets with the advanUge of being 
able to calcolate, as a manufacturer, the real value oi 
the Goods. Every piece is specially examined by 
mjseli; or expertt in my employ, and is guaranteed 
u represented. 

PBBB OABBLkOB.— On Parcels of sof. Value and 
npwards, I pay Carriage to any part of the United 

PATTEBN8.— The Manager at any of my Retail 
Establishments, as above, will forward Patterns on 
application. A personal call will at once convince 
Purchasers of the genuine character of my system 
of Supplying thb Public Diksct. 

THE MILL8.~If you prefer to send direct to the 
Mills, do so, and a full Sbt op Pattbxms and all 
Particulars shall be sent you. Address BIOHASO 
BGBOTD, durlattown Mills, 8HIPLBT, near 

AMY LBNOTH OUT.— This is a new departure for 
a Manufacturer, but I am convinced that the advan* 
tage to Ladies of being able to buy at Fibst Hand 
will produce a 8u£Bcient trade to enable me to con- 
tinue thia facility to my customers. 

IFBOIAL HOnOB.— L4»fio ar« particularly requested to note that this is a bond-Jide Manufacturing concern 
Mi that tke wearing properties are especially kept in view in the Manufacture of the Goodti whtch are not flimsy 
artula,fiUl ef stiffening^ got up to please the eye alone. Richabd Bcboyd has confidence, therefore, that hts 
0<tods will compare favourtMy with thou to be obtained from Tradesmen professing to be** Speeiai Affonts,'' 
** Mills/' *' MaHttfaanring Cosnpaniae," JtCp/em, if any ^ of whom are manufacturers of a single y curd. 


Possessing all the properties of the Finest Arrowroot, 


Is a Household requisite of constant utility 
For the Nursery, the Family Table, and the Sick-Room. 

Note.— Pat-eAas^W should iiaht on being supplied with Brown & PoUoS'S Com Fltrar. 

Inferior kinds', asserting fictilious claims, arc being offtrid for the sake of extra firt^t. 



I ^-* . Work» bff Hana or Treadle, oniy AOs- complete. 

^'^pE^^h. Giiiraotead the Cheapest uid most Useful Lockstitch SeviaB Uachiu 

B|^^M^^B& in the WoiM. Especially adapted (or I>ressmaliing, Light Tailoring, and 

^ ^^^L all kiDds of Family Sewing, aud will l>e found so simi>le ai to require no 

^^^^^^^Kl instruction beyond the Guide Boole whicb ii given with each Machine. 

^M^^^^^H^- Do not bil to see it. Will be cheerfully abonoi at any of our Depoti, n 

^■b^^B^^SS^ eenC to any established address on approval. Designs and lainplei ol 

^B^PI^*' work post-Iree. 

H. J. HARRIS i CaTManufacturers, 

ObXat OlIloBi : 319, Old Kent BoaA, London, and M M. ?oirli BtTMt. Woelwlob j St. London 8MM 
araonwliib : M, Hlglt ftoad, Lae ; IM. Bye Lwu. P*okham ; 1. Blgft Strert, Biltng, and SroBdw»T Bow 
TuTnbani arean, W. ■ ■ ■ 



poit^cinl^i^ptly fotwud, JxLAJCi TJf aC X 

foitfia. Sample Attsrn. of — .™.. 

ihBirNoveliiuinDnuFabrloifDitliBAiitiuiui. flflll 
The 0entni7 Oaihsum, SargM, All Wool ^^^^M 
FablUi, &c,, -rt-wf A- 

An vniqiuiHid for price and oualily. JSHA-j 

Thk Larobst Stock in thr Kibqdoh. -ire\-wi-. 
Til* B. M. CO. p»y ear.i.gB Id mi. part of YOKJ. 
the lUundom on all Orden over £t in value. 
HiEbeslanudallhoUeallhEihibitiDn, Wnit al <ma. I 

WikimiNO.— Ai 1 cecurilr, to the Public every Ankle and 


Entirely removei and prevails all | 


And preiervei the SUnfrom IheeOecti of eiposme to Ae 


more efFectnally than any other known prep«iallon. No L«dj whs 

values her OviMpleilaB should erer be withaal il, u H li 

ZnmtuoMo n( all Sramom of thn rear ptr ftenhv '*' 

h perfectly hannlesa, and may be ifylieri lo the Ha of the 

tender^! ipt^nE. 

'—" ■ - '•IiUmAitj, 

M. BEETHAH ft SON, Chemists, Cheltenham. 




I. The Mystery of Allan Grale. With an Illustra- 
tion by M. Ellen Edwards. 

Chapter XXXVI. Webster's Hammer. 

„ XXXVIL The Black Pool gives up its Secret. 
„ XXXVIIL Moma's Marriage. 
XXXIX. "Cain." 

II. The Amethyst Seal. By T. W. Speight, Author 
of " In the Dead of Night." 

III. The Tendency of Dickens's Works. 

IV. Sonnet. By Lena Milman. 
V. Sabrina. 

VI. A Romantic Wedding : A South Wales Legend. By 
Anne Bbale. 

VII. From the Italian of Plutarch, On His Lost Love. 
By Alice King. 

VIII. The Man from C . By Minnie Douglas. 

All Manuscripts and Communications must be addressed to the Sub-Editor of 
Thb Argosy, 8, New Burlington Strut, JV. From the large number of Articles 
received, it is impossible to return them unless accompanied by Meimps. The 
Publishers cannot be responsible for articles accidentally lost. 


RICHARD BENTLEY & SON, 8, New Burlington Street, 

Publishers in Ordinary to Her Majesty. 



Sydney, New South Wales, in the Court of Equity, 


IKEQUITY. (Bt/ort Hit Hemmr tfuVtuuxnv JVBtiX.) EHO v. HOaQ^Ur. Owih, QX:. 
uidDr. Donovan, iDitnicted by Mr, DK LlssA, for the PUindff; Mr. WaLXBR ud Ui. Kua. 
instructed by Messrs. Hbnon and Smith, for tbe Defeodsot 

His HonDurdeliTeredjiidgmeiit on thUsuit on the 30th inMant u (bltowt;— I hiraDodsitt 
about this matter. It is true diat as regards tbe point of deceptioQ tbe imitation is not *o palpable 
as in some of the other cases, but eai^ has gone at near as the Imitator dued— some (unit 

quote tbe words of tbe Master of tbe Rolls, in wbat is cited utha "Dog and Porridge-Pot Cub,' 
" An honaat man who wants to made his goods never tbinkaof taking the device, pard* or wboDit, 
wbicb some other tradesman ia employing for the purpoiaot raaildDg hlsgoodt." Then in. u 
j__... ij — 1.1- j:^ ^ g„pf, indoBd, that if a ttus wh* bad onca bou^ Eno'i Fruit 

Salt had brought bis empty bottle vrilh bim when he came to renew hii anpply. be wooM 01 
might not be doceiTBd, or he would at least require some speciou* expUnstion to rtnun as 
doubts. But one who does not tako that precaution, tbe careless, or tboaa who had not boufhi 
before and were advised to get a bottle of fruit salt, would t>e deceived by the term Emit sill, la] 
by tba labjl tiekring a malfonned bunch of jrapei. It la true ihf ' if be looked 'loaely and had 
means of ..omparison be would see that the word " Parisian " indicated some other pnpinliaa 
than Eno's, and not aa English one. But even that term would not necessarily open iui fje^ 
Besides, the lerm " Parisian" and the label purporting (o express that it was a Paiinan imenDni. 
manufactured in the colooy with the help of an imixirted eneit, by Haur*. Hogg and Co„ "vie 
ageuta for tbe Colonies," every feature of which was a distinct and avowedantntb, wu ir 
itself a fraud— a 6>ud, it is [me, distinguishing the preparation from Bno't, but a fraud DMt ^ 
less in its express representation and in its purpose, nainely. that of getting into Eno's trade ia 
fruit salt, and winning to himself part of the pniQtsof the inventloa and advertising of Hr. Eoo. 
Then as to the term " Fniil Salt," I am 01 opinion that It was aoKeptibla of ragtaUatitM u 1 
trade mark, and that it was not descriptive of a class of preparations or of natural mbstaocei id 
a commercial aspect nor indeed scientiBcatly. This seems tome to have been anffidentlydecifcJ 
in England In tbe case of Eno v. Stapliens, and to liave bean raeogniaad by tha genonl suppti' 
sion or alMtinence of the would-be-imitators that are sure to be eager for a share of theimeoiDr'i 
profits. It was also decided by myself in Eno v. Davis, although m that case tbora weieiitDOK 
retpect* mors daring ImitatloDS In other particular* ttian that of tbe name. TharaiMoaiiuodT 
the question whether the lerm " Fruit Salt " had beconw^HWcf/Hrfi befbrs tba plaintUI'* iw>' 
tration. 1 am clear thai it bad not Mr. Eno had Inlrodnced bi* good* withont regbrtralise, it it 

true : perhaps by omission, or perhaps rdring on tbe honesty of olliers, and all was right miil 
bi* piaparatton came into great demand. Thui came a varied of Imitaton- Bat. a* fu ai be 
Bvicfaoce goes, they were dl baodulent in their one ali]ect of diverting the plaintiff '■ trade to iM 
•porlon* prepacawios, and in Iho coloumblenesa of (hair Imitations. II does not seem tn me u 
be of much coueqnence whether these imitations had or had not gone on for aereral yean bebn 
the plalntUt'a resjatration, but in bi^ I am satisfied, upon tbe whole of tbe evidence, that Act 
didnotbeginnwIaboatayeaioraobeliHe tlie plaintiff's rwlstratlon at the farthest. I thertiot 
deeraa that tba dalendani m perpetually restrained from ■elung his mannbdnre with tlie *erd) 
"FVnit Salt "or an colooraueapproadi to that termor tba other term osad by the pUiotiEx 
either of tliem. "At defendant must pay all coat* of suit By the consent of parties, I auea 
damage* at ;£ioo, payable within three weeks. — From Sydiuy Jteming Htrald, July a. 

CA VTlON.—ExiMim latk BMlt owl ui IKi Caftuli 11 marUti " ZXO'S FftUIT ULT." If iUxat >t r" 
Man to* iw^aui pn iya wertltlru imiluion. Ligtl Rirhli anfreluUiiintrTrtinliadCetitlij. SOLD 
BY ALL CHEMISTS. Dinetioia Im fuTin Z-onftufu Haw la Pmmt Diuau. 

Prapmad only tX EKO'S rBUrT BALT ff OBKB, Hatoham, London, B-B., b; Eno'i Fitnt. 

If you Willi lo t» mil and ketp will, Ma 

The Black Pool givbs up i 


OCTOBER, i88s. 




T^R. PALMER and his daughter Agnes were walking along in 
^ silence in the summer twilight, after the s6ance held at Moorland 
House when Miss Bessie Tempest had played " Medium." 

"Papa, I don't believe a word of it," cried Agnes, her pent-up 
feeling at length bursting forth. " It was all a wicked cheat from 
beginning to end" 

" Hush, child 1 " said the Doctor, soberly. 

"The Medium, as she calls herself, is a vain, deceitful woman ; just 
that, and nothing more," continued Agnes. 

"She is a most hysterical-looking subject, I admit," returned Dr. 

" Do you believe she was unconscious, papa, when she pretended 
to be?" pursued the girl, with fine scorn. "I don't Why, I saw 
the lead she followed in nearly every word she said I " 

"Ah," said the Doctor, "while the rest of us were lost in her clever- 
ness, you were quiedy observing. Tell me what you noticed." 

He had a great respect for female observation in social matters, 
saying that from the beginning the whole sex had been chiefly employed 
in watching the ways of the world, so that it must have almost developed 
a new sense 

" She took up what poor Mrs. Grale let drop about the Black Pool, 
though she chose to speak of it poetically, as ' the dark water,' " 
returned Agnes. " And when once she got a hint about Allan, she 
described his picture as it hangs in the room where we took off our 
bonnets. Lady Laura could have told her whose portrait it was. 
For that matter. Lady Laura may have coached her up beforehand." 

" Lady Laura would be sure to say *No' to that," said the Doctor, a 
peculiar smile upon his lips. 


242 The Mystery q/ Allan Grale. 

" Papa, I believe all that scene with poor Mrs. Grale was pure act- 
ing. Miss Tempest must have known there had been a disappearance 
— trouble of some sort — ^and she manipulated the word *play' very 
carefully. There was nothing at all in the individual messages. 
They could be made to fit most circumstances and most people." 

" There was one thing which struck me in her remarks to George 
Vivian/' said the Doctor, thoughtfully, '* and that was the way in which 
she dwelt upon his many happy years to come. Any sharp observer 
who wanted to make true prophecies would beware of doing that I 
don't like George's looks — or his cough." 

" Perhaps she wanted to please him, and so promised what she 
thought he was longing for," persisted the sceptical girl. " And the 
flattery she gave everybody else was positively sickening. While she 
was dwelling on the trials of Lady Laura, I could not help imagining 
a sheriffs officer smoking a long clay pipe and sipping ale in her lady- 
ship's back hall ! " 

Agnes might have started had she known that her own errant 
imagination had hit the exact truth. That sheriffs officer sat just so 
till the following Monday, when Lady Laura's Sunday's letter to Mr. 
Grale brought an answer, with an enclosure ; after which, the sheriffs 
officer departed. 

" But there was something strange about her sudden mention of 
Edgar Vivian's name," said the Doctor, in a low tone of reluctance. 

"When I can see an explanation for everything else, I am sure there 
must be an explanation for that also. It was a wicked, wicked trick, 
done to satisfy people's malice and suspicion, and done in a safe way, 
which cannot be challenged. I should have liked to make her tell 
what she meant, to order her 'spirits' to speak plainly or not to speak 
at all," continued Agnes, vehementiy. " These Mediums, or what- 
ever they call themselves, should be held responsible for what * comes 
through them,' as their cant expresses it." 

" My dear girl," said the Doctor, mildly, "we must be very cool and 
patient in the elucidation of unknown or obscure facts." 

" To be sure," returned Agnes. " We must be cool and patient in 
chemistry and anatomy ; but it is not being cool and patient to try 
experiments of blowing up our own houses, or plunging knives into 
our own friends. But, papa, what did you mean just now by saying 
you do not like George Vivian's looks— or his cough." 

" I mean just that, Agnes. I think he looks ill, and I think that 
little, hacking cough of his may mean worse than it sounds to ordinary 
ears. George has never been strong, you know." 

^' You should take him in hand, papa. Ask him to let you." 
" I did ask him," said the Doctor. " That is, I hinted at it" 
" And what did he say ? " 

" Laughed at me ; and said there was not anything the matter with 
him. I never found a young man yet who thought there was, until be 
grew too bad to fight against it any longer." 


The Mystery of Allan Grale. 243 

Geoi]ge Vivian having walked quickly on with lattice, paused to 
say good night at the top of their little lane leading to Dr. Palmer's 
house. The Doctor did not invite him in. On the contrary, he bade 
him hasten home, for a heavy dew was threatening. 

Charles Carr and Mark Acland were waiting supper for them. 
The young men had spent a pleasant evening together. They had 
wandered out into the woods and remained there long after sunset ; 
and their hces and their minds were still fresh with the sweet breezes 
and the " hearty counsel " held with one another. Charles was eager 
for news of the party at Moorland House, and the two girls related it 
The young chemist and embryo doctor were much amused. 

" If the spirits could have given a hint who that man was who came 
to our shop, if he was not Allan Grale, it would have been some satis- 
faction to me," said Mark. " As for dragging the Black Pool, of 
course it should be done. Don't you think so, sir?" 
Dr. Palmer did not answer. Charles spoke. 
"Only — I suppose — if they don't find anything in it, they will be 
almost more uneasy now than if they da" 

" But," dissented Mark Acland, " it is one thing to be uneasy over 
the truth, and if s another to be pestered by a fency. Truth can 
always be endured" 

Mark was somewhat of a philosopher in his way. And it seemed 
to Agnes that if she had wanted an oracle, she would f Jtr sooner have 
accepted the chance opinions of the two young men, bright and 
healthy from their woodland ramble, than the "inspirations" of 
hysterical Miss Bessie Tempest, with her flabby furbelows, and her 
^nt perfumes. And yet, for all Agnes Palmer's scepticism and con- 
tempt, the words spoken by Bessie Tempest haunted her and kept her 
wakefiil half through the night. 

The next day was Sunday, a sweet summer Sunday. In those 
lovely Dering lanes, with the sunbeams glancing through the over- arch- 
ing trees, and the cleanly cheerful groups of villagers wending their 
way from snug mossed cottages to the white church gleaming on the 
green hill-side, it seemed hard to believe in the existence of sin and 
suffering, deception and crookedness. There was strength in the sweet 
solenmity of the worship, there was soothing in the simple melody of 
the hymn. Agnes, like all people of healthy nature, yielded herself 
to healthy influences the moment they touched her ; and the pain in her 
spirit settled into a mere blank, a want of something which ought to 
have been there — an emptiness like that of the Court pew in Dering. 
Church, for not one of the Vivians appeared at Divine service 

On Monday morning Mark Acland was to return to Sladford. He 
had made arrangements with his master, the doctor, not to be expected 
before noon. This would give him time to walk over to Carstow, 
after break&st at Dr. Palmer's. Charles was to accompany him so 
far, that they might both see Charles's new invention safely ofif by the 

244. ^** Mystery of Allan Gralc. 

mam line train which was to take it to a manufacturer in the midland 
counties ; who, through Mr. Grale's intervention, had consented to give 
It practical trial. 

As the two young men entered the parlour, Lettice, already busy 
at the breakfast table, looked up to speak. 

." The post is in, Charles, and the scanty correspondence is all for 
you.'' Many people in Dering, including Dr. Palmer, did not have 
their letters delivered on a Sunday morning. 

*' I expect you will have a note from Webster, acknowledging the 
leceipt of the hammer and graciously pardoning your ungracious 
delay/' observed Mark, laughingly, as he took his seat. 

There were only two missives — ^a letter, and a yellow railway notice. 
The first did not look particularly interesting, whereas there is always 
some excitement about a possible parcel, so Charlie opened the 
dicular first. Of course it gave no particulars, except that a prepaid 
parcel was awaiting him at Dering Station. Briefly announcing this, 
and leaving Lettice and Agnes to exclaim and conjecture, he turned 
to. his letter. 

"Webster's hand-writing," commented Mark, looking at the 
tfivelope the other threw aside. 

" Well, to be sure ! " exclaimed Charles. " Is there to be no end 
•f bewitchment about this implement ? The parcel now waiting for 
me at the station contains the very hammer I sent to Webster last week. 
He returns it, because he says his own was duly sent to him last 
autumn ,! It was sent to his old address at Sladford, and was for- 
warded to him thence." 

" Who sent it ? " cried Mark. 

" He adds," said Charles, reading on, '< ' It had been sent to Sladford 
by the post, at which I wondered, as its weight made the postage 
lieavy, and there was no note either enclosed or accompanying it, which 
I also thought strange. Probably you will understand how the mis- 
take was made, and I am sorry that you should have had the trouble 
of buying and sending a new one.' " 

" Now, what can we make out of that, sir ? " asked Charles, 
addressing the Doctor, who had entered the room while he was read- 
ing the letter. 

The Doctor sat down. " You absolutely cannot recall when you 
last saw the hammer ? " he enquired " But I remember you have 
already said you cannot Who knew that you had borrowed the 
hammer ? " 

" Oh, several people knew that The clerks in the counting-house 
at the Works knew it ; and Allan Grale knew it ; and — ^aiid Edgar 
Yivian also," concluded Charles, with reluctant hesitation. 

" Well," broke in Agnes, almost passionately. " Why do you 
shrink from saying that Edgar Vivian knew ? What could be more 
matural ? ' 

Her father put his hand gently on her shoulder. She drew herself 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 243 

away, but not fractiously. Each must bear his own burden, and there 
is some sympathy which can scarcely exist except as pity, and so is 
" I beg your pardon, papa," she said, quite humbly. 
" Edgar Vivian knew of it in this way," said Charles. " He walked 
in from Carstow station with me the day that I first got the hammec 
I showed it to him, and told him it was lent to me through Mark 

"'Webster, Sladford,' was printed on the handle," observed Mark. 
" You say you took that for the maker's name," he added, looking act 
Charles. " But Mr. Edgar Vivian would probably know Webster's 
shop : he was often at Sladford for the cricket-matches." 

" Well, I don't see that we can make anything out of the matter,* 
said Dr. Palmer. " But I suppose, under all the circumstances, we 
had better let Mr. Grale know about this." 

" And then Mr. Webster can send up his hammer to let Miss 
Bessie Tempest impart guesses about it, and thereby cover hexself 
with honour and glory," cried Agnes, speaking bitterly. 

Half an hour later, as Mark Acland was on his way to the station, 
Charles accompanying him, they met a cart, containing some men, 
strangers to Dering, and a quantity of curious gear. One of the men 
touched his hat to Mark. 

"\Vhy, they must have come in from Sladford ! " he exclaimed. 
" They are the lock-keeper and some watermen belonging to Sladford 

Leaving Charles on the footpath, Mark went up to the cart anA 
spoke with the lock-keeper. The young fellow's face looked grave as 
he returned to his friend 

"Mr. Grale lost no time," he remarked. "He despatched a 
special messenger to Sladford on Saturday night." 

" But what for ? — what are the men going to do ? " asked Charles 

" They are come to Dering to drag the Black Pool." 



Before that day was out, Dr. Palmer was fetched to the Court in hot 
haste, to attend a new patient there. 

It was George Vivian himself. 

Years before George had had a serious lung attack, of the kind 
which, by its suddenness and the unmistakable gravity of its manifesta- 
tions, sometimes alarms the patient into a valetudinarian existence, and 
generally conveys a warning so solemn as to command more or less 
attention. George for some time had been more or less under the 

246 Th^ Mystery of Allan Grale. 

hands of the medical men, of Dr. Palmer in particular ; he had been 
debarred from many pleasures that other youths and young men enjoy ; 
of balls, and severe gymnastics, and public speaking ; but he had his 
consolations in frequent change of air and scene, and a life of elq;ant 
leisure. And as the years went on, he had become so apparently 
strong, that perhaps nobody remembered the old fears, except Dr. 
Palmer, or that the past grave attack might sometime be renewed. 

But the attack had come. It had come quite suddenly, when no- 
body was looking for it, least of all George himself, and the Doctor 
was summoned to Dering Court in haste. And George, as well as 
Dr. Palmer, knew that what, happening once might be but an accident, 
happening twice meant the shadow of the end. 

Maria was in devoted attendance on her brother, and Dr. Palmer 
was not sorry to think that her confinement in his sick room might 
for the present spare her all knowledge of what was going on at the 
Black Pool. He also hoped another thing : that the cold words, the 
surmises and suspicions being whispered abroad of Edgar Vivian, 
would not reach her ears abruptly. 

How far had such suspicion and surmise any foundation ? And 
would this horrible quest be fruitless ? Dr. Palmer could not silence 
these inner questions. 

In the evening, when he was on his way to pay a second visit to the 
Court, he turned out of his road to go and take a look at the water- 
men at their work. 

The work of dragging the Black Pool, deep in bottom and densely 
weedy at its sides, might not be effectually completed in less than two or 
three da^s. But the watermen's first hours of toil had not gone quite 
unrewarded. Mr. Grale, grimly watching their labours, had turned 
half angrily from the old tin vessels and faded rags which they had 
brought up for his gaze. But just before Dr. Palmer had arrived 
on the scene, they had secured a very different prize. It did not look 
unlike the other useless debris which had no significance whatever. It 
was only a man's hat ; and the watery bed it had had for months made 
its appearance exactly as if it had been the discarded head-gear of 
some tramp or gipsy. The watermen judged it to be such, as they 
lifted it up, and shook off the heavy moist weeds which enveloped it 
Mr. Grale, anxiously watching from the opposite bank, thought little 
else. But when he saw the men turn it round and look inside it, and 
look again, and then look at each other, he felt that they had come 
upon something at last, and he went forward eagerly to meet them as 
they carried it towards him. 

There was no mistake about it. Sorely stained and soiled as it was, 
on the white silk lining of the hat there remained distinctly visible the 
name of " Allan Grale." 

The rough watermen stood awkwardly round the stem old father. 
Whatever emotion might stir him inwardly gave no outward sign, unless 
indeed it lay in the absolute silence in which he, after a moment, waved 

The Mystery of Allan Gralc. 247 

them back to their work. Even when Dr. Pakner came up, he 
said nothing ; he only pointed to the hat ; and when the Doctor saw it 
he realized by the revulsion of disappointment, how strongly he him- 
self had hoped and believed that the Black Pool had no secret to 

The Doctor could not bear to see his old neighbour sitting there, in 
that terrible silence, watching the troubled waters which could not 
hold their own much longer. He would have liked to bid him go 
home and entrust the awful surveillance to some one else. But he 
knew Mr. Grale was not a man to brook any such interference. So 
he went round the margin of the Pool to have a little conversation 
with the men. He knew the Sladford lock-keeper, and meant to 
suggest to him that they should suspend their labours for that evening, 
for Mr. Grale's sake. 

The men paused as he approached. They had a reason of their 
own for so doing, apart from civility. 

"This is terrible work, Jenkins," said the Doctor to the lock- 

" Aye, sir," responded Jenkins, wiping his brow. " And I am glad 
you are come up, sir. That there old gentleman should not be 
allowed to stay here." 

"Who can make him go?" returned Dr. Palmer. 

Jenkins shook his head. " I reckon we've got hold of something 
just this minute. Dr. Palmer, sir," he said, in a whisper. " It may not 
be got to the surface for a good while, or it may come almost directly. 
Being medical, you don't need to be told, sir, that things which have 
lain long in the water are an awful sight" 

Dr. Palmer nodded. But what could he do ? " Can you not say, 

Jenkins, that you are going to leave oflf in a few minutes, and then 

I may get him to walk to the high road with me. Perhaps you really 
are ? " 

"Aye, sir," said Jenkins, "it may be in no time. For if it does not 
come up easy like, we shall leave it till to-morrow." 

Nothing but the inducement given, that the men " were just going 
to take up their grappling irons and leave off," could have persuaded 
Mr. Grale to quit his post Dr. Palmer linked his arm within his, 
and led him away. He had tied that battered hat in his bandana 
handkerchief, and carried it in his hand, as in his hard-working and 
penniless boyhood he had perhaps carried his little all. 

" Mrs. Giale must not see that," said the Doctor. 

" 111 leave it at the lodge," he replied. " Poor Polly I Perhaps it's 
only right I should go home to her." Yet he paused on the edge of 
the high road, and looked back. " I ought to return later," he said, 
" and make sure that all is quiet" 

"111 do that on my way home from the Court," answered the 
Doctor, hastily. "And then I'll look in upon you at Moorland 

248 • The Mystery of A llan Grale. 

So they parted. But Dr. Palmer turned and turned again to see 
that Mr. Grale had not again changed his mind. No, the manure- 
turer with his ominous burden went steadily forward. How bent 
and old he looked ! How he had changed in the last day or two I 
In the distance he might have been taken for an aged labourer 
returning from a day's toil And, perhaps there was not one such in 
all England with a heart so heavy as his. 

The Doctor hurried to the Court, where he made his visit as short 
as possible. George Vivian was no worse ; he was decidedly as well 
as could be expected, and felt no alarm. Nay, the most troublesome 
symptom about him was his anxiety for a speedy recovery. Though 
forbidden to speak in any tone above a whisper, he had distressed 
Maria by telling her that he must make arrangements for getting 
mountain air as soon as possible — nothing would do him good like 
mountain air. Maria, in agony, had besought him to remember 
that much movement or exertion was absolutely forbidden him. He 
had only smiled ; and to her dismay, had persisted in writing a letter ; 
which he charged her to see was put into the post-bag. 

" It was directed to Mrs. McOrist, at Ragan, Ross-shire," said 
Maria, dropping a few tears as she disclosed this to Dr. Palmer. 
" That was the ferm to which George took so great a fancy when he 
and Allan Grale visited it last Autumn. He has made up his mind 
that a long stay there would quite set him up. But it must be much 
colder there than here — ^and what a frightfully long journey it would 
be for one in his condition ! " 

"Well, he cannot go yet," observed Dr. Palmer. "We may 
safely leave it an open question, for the present. If he does go, 
later, you would have to accompany him. You need change and 
mountain air almost as much as he does." 

" I don't know what my poor Uncle would do without us," sighed 
Maria. " The Court seems under a dreadful cloud just now ! " she 
added, raising her pathetic eyes to the Doctor's. He almost started. 
How true her last words were ! Yet he felt she spoke them without 
any special meaning. How long would she remain in blessed 
ignorance of the dark doubts whispered about Edgar?" 

" There, there," he said kindly, " I must not keep you longer out 
of your brother's room, or he may be attempting to arrange his 
chairs and tables by way of wholesome exercise. Don't you oppose 
his whims and fancies when laying out his plans for the future, ^liss. 
Vivian : rather appear to fall in with them." 

Dr. Palmer hastened back to the Black Pool. It was not twilight 
yet, but the sunshine was out of the atmosphere, leaving it cool and 
gray. Not a voice fell on the Doctor's ear as he approached the 
Pool. Had the men really left their task, disappointed in their 
latest find, or unable to secure it until the morrow. He hurried on. 

No. They were still at their task. But they were no longer at 
work. They were gathered around something which lay on the 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 249 

grass at their feet. It was a terrible something in the guise of a man. 
When they saw Dr. Palmer coming they stood a little apart, but 
nobody uttered a word until he spoke. 

" Thank heaven that we got Mr. Grale away ! " 

" Mr. Grale, though he is his father, couldn't have known him — or 
anybody else, either," spoke the lock-keeper, hoarsely. "But I 
expect there'll be marks, or hnen, or something for identification." 

"Ah, there can be little doubt," sighed Dr. Palmer. "Why, 
there's the light over-coat which he had with him : we all knew that 
coat well. It's strange ; it's very strange." 

Dr. Palmer was thinking of his own story about the man on the 
Carstow Road; the one he had seen that night from his patient's 
window, and whom he had certainly taken for Allan Grale. He 
must have been mistaken, after all. " This is the way that ghost tales 
grow," he thought, with the half-conscious habit of a mind trained to 
trace cause into effect 

" Can you tell me, sir, what we are to do with it ? " asked the 
lock-keeper. " We have our litter for the removal ; but where is it 
to be taken to ? " 

At first Dr. Palmer could not answer the question. It would never 
do to take it to Moorland House. 

" The smith has a lock-fast out-building behind his smithy," he 
said after reflection. " I am sure he will not refuse it to us. His 
place is quite near. I will go on and speak to him ; and afterwards 
do my best in breaking the news to Mr. Grale." 

The little procession was soon formed The watermen had their 
hand-litter and their tarpaulins, and carried the poor human salvage 
with a homely reverence. The smith and his wife were instantly at 
Dr. Palmer's service. The good woman hurried into the outhouse 
with her sheets and pillows, thinking to make decent preparation for 
the dead. But the Doctor sent her away ; the sight was too dreadful 
for any unnecessary eyes. He and its bearers disposed it as credit- 
ably as possible — even thankful that the light was waning dim 1 

" Did he drown hisself, I wonder," said the smith in an awe-struck 

" I think the skull is stove in," observed the lock-keeper. " But 
that might have happened after death, you know." 

"These will be questions for the post-mortem," interposed Dr. 

" Begging your pardon, sir," said the experienced lock-keeper, " but 
before you go to Mr. Grale, had you not better look at the linen 
marks, and into the pockets ? Relations are often suspicious, and 
there's many a dead man who has shaken a living man's character." 

Dr. Palmer took the hint, but his inquisition was brief and rapid. 
There were two or three shillings and some copper money in one of 
the pockets, a lead pencil, a sheet of a sporting newspaper, and a 
handkerchief marked in ink " A. G." 

250 The Mystery oj Allan Grale. 

'' That will suffice," he said. ^' Any further examination will do 

They drew a white sheet gently over the awful thing. And they 
hung another to screen the dusky window of the outhouse. And 
then they all came out, and the Doctor made ^t the door and took 
away the key in his own pocket. 

And in less than an hour there was wild weeping in Moorland 
House, and a messenger was speeding across the country to apprise 
the coroner of the need for his services ; while the Dering villagers 
ran in and out of each other's cottages and made public property of 
any confidences which might have been privately exchanged during 
the last few weeks. 

Only Mr. Grale sat, pale and silent. He had not been sorry when 
he first thought that Allan had gone away. But Allan could never 
come back now. 

The father shed not a tear. He had not a word : except once. 

Mrs. Grale cried out that she and her sister Marget were two miser- 
able women. " Those live who would be better dead," she wailed. 
" And those die who should live ! " 

" Poor Polly ! " said her husband. That was all. But there was 
something in the tone which touched some recollection in the 
mother's mind. She was not comforted : she was not soothed : she 
was not called from her grief to console his. But her moans grew 
more gentle. 

The coroner's inquest was held in the village school-house, where 
the rooms were large and suitably furnished with benches. The 
children were enjoying a week's holiday, which left the place at 

As to the identification of the remains, the jurymen themselves had 
known Allan Grale, and they testified to their recognition of him. 
They could see all that could be seen — ^that the dead man was of 
Allan's height and build — that he had the familiar light-brown curly 
hair ; and of the hand which had not been clenched in the death 
agony, the little finger had a slight crook, a little congenital peculiarity 
which Allan had inherited from his mother. But more special evi- 
dence was forthcoming. 

The father's came first. He said he believed the body was that of 
his son Allan. He had not seen him since October last. Had not 
been alarmed at his disappearance at first, believing he had wished to 
absent himself from home for a short time. Had afterwards heard r^ 
ports of his being in Scotland, and had grown very angiy about the 
matter. Latterly he had grown to feel alarmed at the prolonged 
absence, and at the total lack of any news. 

One of the maids from Moorland House — Susan — was next called 
to testify to certain points. She identified (as others had already 
done) the light overcoat, which Mr. Allan had taken with him the 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 251 

evening be left; and she could swear to a miniature dressing-case 
found in one of the pockets of the coat. She could not speak so 
positively as to the ordinary tweed suit which was shown her, but she 
knew Mr. Allan had had two or more suits of similar appearance. 
She could not identify the handkerchief, despite its initials, neither the 
under-clothing. She said with some hesitancy that these were not so 
fine as Mr. Allan's, nor could she remember that he had had any 
mended as they were. She was in the habit of looking through the 
Moorland House linen as it went to and came from the laundry. She 
had often found articles which she did not recognise as Mr. Allan's, 
but which she found afterwards he had bought on emergencies during 
his travels, or else had been changed at hotels for his own in the 

Susan went on, in answer to questions, to say that she was one of the 
last people who had seen her young master. He had left home on 
the twentieth of last October. That same afternoon, Mr. Edgar 
Vivian had called ; but on being told (by herself) that Mr. Allan was 
gone out, he had written a note in pencil in the hall, which she had 
carried up to Mr. Allan's room, and placed on his table. When Mr. 
Allan came home to dinner that evening, he went up to his room and 
no doubt saw the note. It was after dinner, soon after it, that he 
finally left. Mr. Allan had dined alone that evening, the rest of the 
family not being at home. Further, the witness said that Mr. Allan 
Grale generally wore his watch — always, indeed, so far as she knew. 
Also his signet ring. But the signet ring had been found on his 
dressing-table. Possibly he had omitted to replace it on his finger 
after washing his hands for dinner. 

No watch had been found on the body : hence these questions to 

Mr. Edgar Vivian was next called. He came forward looking very 
pale and with a constrainedly calm manner. 

He remembered calling at Moorland House. The servant just 
examined told him Mr. Allan Grale was out : she thought he had gone 
to Dr. Palmer's, to take something to Charies Carr. He saw the 
carriage driving away with the ladies in it as he came in sight of the 
house. He wrote a short note in pencil to young Mr. Grale, asking 
him to meet him on the morrow at the Black Pool. He could not 
say whether he had dated the note. Probably not. 

These words were listened to amid breathless silence. Edgar 
Vivian spoke them in a low, clear voice. 

He went on to say that he had not received any answer to his note. 
But he had gone to the Black Pool the next day. Allan Grale did 
not appear, did not keep the appointment He had wished for a 
conversation with him on business. The business was of a private 
nature. Two or three days afterwards, he received a letter which he 
had believed came from Allan. It requested that a small box, which 
Allan had put in his charge, should be sent to Scotland, to a certain 

252 The Mystery of Allan GraU. 

address, given. He complied with the request at once and sent off 
the box. 

Upon being asked by the coroner whether he could produce that 
letter, the witness replied that he was very sorry to say he could not. 
The letter had in some way disappeared ; he believed that he must, 
himself, have torn it up by mistake. 

That was all. The coroner, in curt words and tone, told the witness 
he might go. And as Edgar Vivian turned and faced the little assem- 
bly, he believed he knew how Cain had felt when he met the first 
eyes which saw the mysterious brand of murder on his brow. 

The next person called was the yellow woman, Jane West, very 
much to the surprise of the assemblage. She came forward, trim and 
self possessed, and attired in deep and handsome mourning. The 
yellow cloak was folded across her arm : she had put it off to appear 
before the coroner. 

After all, she had not any evidence to give that was of much account, 
only that on the twentieth day of last October, in the evening, she had 
met Mr. Allan Grale, whom she knew well by sight, near the Black 
Pool. He appeared to be walking to it. She had noticed him par- 
ticularly. She thought at the time that he looked a little different 
from what he usually did look, and remarked to herself that it was 
because he was wearing a light great-coat, which she herself had not 
before seen him in. Yes, it was similar to that coat, now produced 
Could be quite certain of the date — ^the twentieth of October. 

Two or three more unimportant witnesses were examined, and then 
came the medical testimony ; that of Dr. Palmer and Mr. Holmes of 
Sladford. They said that the body had been in the water for some 
months, which prevented a very particular examination; but they 
testified that there was an injury to the head, sufficient to have caused 
death, inflicted by some small, heavy instrument. It must have been 
a rather peculiar instrument, Mr. Holmes said ; and he could imagine 
no possibility of such an injury having been received after the immer- 
sion of the body. It could not have been self inflicted. 

The audience listened breathlessly; despite sundry sinister rumours, 
the opinion of many had constantly reverted to suicide. 

In answer to further inquiries, the Doctor said that after such a 
lapse of time it was almost impossible to speak positively on any point, 
but appearances did not indicate death by drowning. 

Thus it appeared, if the opinion of the two medical men was 
correct — ^and there could be no reason to doubt it — that poor Allan 
Grale had neither destroyed himself nor died by drowning. His 
life had been taken from him by the violent hand of some adversary. 

And in the heart of nearly everybody present, there arose one 
name — that of Edgar Vivian. 

The coroner summed up, and the jury retired to the infant school- 
room to consider their verdict — where chromos of elephants and Iambs 
on the walls looked down upon them as they debated. Nothing but 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 253 

an open verdict could be returned. Suspicion might lie more or less 
on Edgar Vivian, but there was no evidence, as yet, brought forward 
against him. They carried in the following verdict : 

" We find that the deceased is Allan Grale ; and that he met his 
death by violence at the hands of some person or persons un- 

" That will do, gentlemen," said the coroner, briskly. " If any 
more evidence should turn up, as perhaps it may, further proceedings 
can then be taken." 

The court broke up, and the audience poured out of the close 
room into the summer sunshine. Mr. Grale hurried off to Moorland 
House, accompanied by a strange gentleman who had been present 
and was understood to be his lawyer, and by Dr. Palmer. 

But one curious incident came out at the inquest, which has not 
been yet told. 

In the right-hand trouser pocket of the dead man, amidst the two 
or three shillings lying there, was found the spade guinea lost by 
General Vivian. This was an extraordinary thing, quite unexplainable. 

Had the guinea fallen accidentally from the General's watch chain 
on the road, and had Allan Grale picked it up ? If so, why did he 
not restore it to the family ? Had he forgotten to do so, and been 
murdered before he remembered it ? 

" I never thought it was so bad as this," cried the poor stricken- 
down father as he entered his house with the lawyer and Dr. Palmer, 
and they shut themselves into a room together. " What has he done, 
my poor boy, that he should be barbarously murdered ? " 

It was a question that could not be answered. 

Another question, lying in abeyance and doubt, was with what 
instrument had the &tal injury been inflicted ? A little conversation 
had taken place upon this point in the inquest room ; and it was now 
especially exercising the mind of Dr. Palmer. 

He was asking himself whether it could have been the watch- 
maker's hammer. 

• The probability was, he thought, that the small parcel which Allan 
had carried out with him on that afternoon, intending to take it to 
Charles Carr, must have contained that mysterious hammer. Had 
the unfortunate young man had it still in his possession in the 
evening, and had it been used against him ? He mentioned this to 
Mr. Grale. 

The lawyer said something about further investigation into the 
crime, and a trial, but he was interrupted by Mr. Grale. 

" I don't want a trial," cried the fierce old man, with flashing eyes. 
" Let the man escape. But let him understand that we know he is 
a murderer. That can be done in a thousand ways against which he 
will not dare to contend." 

'^ I think the people to-day made him conscious of their feeling on 
the matter," observed the lawyer, who had completely adopted the 

254 ^*^ Mystery of Allan Grale. 

suspicion against Edgar Vivian. " Probably he will soon feel himself 
driven out of the neighbourhood." 

" Into exile," snarled Mr. Grale. " Well, that will do. To my 
mind, there's more satisfection in that than there is in capital punish- 
ment. Let his conscience be his punishment." 

A day or two later, and then the poor dead body, which the 
miserable mother was not allowed to see, was duly deposited in the 
Bering graveyard, in the very centre of the little plateau which was 
railed off as " the Grale ground." And the Lady Laura Bond, who 
had asked leave to attend the funeral, " to support her dear friend, 
Mrs. Grale," brought masses of flowers to heap upon the coflSn, She 
also brought Viscount Rockford and Lord Pelerin. 

" Mary Anne Grale will be enormously rich now ; there's only 
herself left to inherit," she had remarked to these two choice young 


morna's marriage. 

" I KNEW it ! I knew it ! You know I knew it all the time ! " had 
been Maria Vivian's first and only exclamation when she was told that 
the body of her old lover had been drawn from the dark waters of the 
Black Pool. She had accepted all the anguish, whatever it was, long 
ago, and the final discovery seemed to make it no more real to her 
than it had been before. She listened even to the conjectures and 
suggestions concerning its manner with a strange, benumbed absent- 
mindedness. It seemed as if she had her own convictions concerning 
that, too, and that they were of a kind not to be easily disturbed by 
aught which might appear to contradict them. 

But Maria was entirely unacquainted with the suspicions cast on her 
brother Edgar. 

Bering Court was certainly a very sad place in those days. With 
all George Vivian's feverish anxiety for recovery — ^perhaps because of 
it — ^he did not make real progress. If one day he felt well enough to 
take a few gentle turns on the terrace, the next day found him obliged 
to own that he was too weak to lift a foot. 

Still George's mind dwelt constantly on a journey to the fiu- North. 
A day never passed without his descanting on the beauties of such a 
life as he might enjoy for months oh the farm at Ragan. He must be 
able to start off there soon, so as to lay in a stock of strength and 
vitality during the remaining months of summer and autumn. 
And really, he said, if he derived the benefit of which he felt certain, 
he thought he would be wise to remain there through the winter. 
Many medical men held that a severe yet dry and bright climate was 
beneficial to such a case as his. Dering winters were inclined to be 
so damp and dull. The snows at Ragan would suit him £ur better. 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 255 

" But think of the comforts that you can have in such a home as 
this i " uiged Maria, the tears starting to her eyes with pain at his 
restless longing to be elsewhere. 

"Comforts!'' echoed George. "You have little idea of the 
comfort of a house biiilt as houses are where cold weather lasts long. 
Rdigan is of stone ; its walls are twice as thick as these. Peat smoulders 
on the hearths day and night, and there is health and healing in its 
?eiy savour. I am not an invalid, to need reclining chairs and so 
fordi," added George, ignoring the &ct that he lay helplessly among 
his sofa cushions as he spoke. 
"Oh, George!" 

"Well, I shan't be when I'm a bit stronger — and that will be 

Maria yielded the point. Alas, she was only too much afraid that 
the Fates were on her side, and that all the projects could never get 
beyond wishes ! 

" But would the family be able to accommodate us both for so long 
a time ? " she enquired. " These good people may cramp themselves 
to receive strangers during the summer months, but they like to have 
their homes in peace for the winter." 

" Why ! " exclaimed George, " I should never think of taking you 
there. The life would not suit you at all, Maria." 
" How do you know that ? " 

"You would want your poor people and your books. You 

could not amuse yourself for weeks with a sketch block, as I can. 

What will be repose for me, would be an unbearable tedium for you." 

" I can enjoy any sort of quiet life, I think, George," answered 

Maria. " How could we bear to have you so far away from us here, 

and alone ? Who would nurse " 

"I don't want care or nursing," interrupted George, pettishly. 
" That is just what I shall not want, once I am there. A man never 
gets out of his invalidism till he gets rid of his nurses." 
Maria turned away her head with a sigh. " I know how tiresome 

it must be to you, George, to have to be guarded and watched " 

Again he interrupted her fretfully. He seldom got through a con- 
versation about that longed-for journey to Ragan without relapsing into 
a state of nervous irritation which Maria feared originated in his con- 
sciousness of how very remote its chances were. She could not 
imagine why he should so desire it — unless a craze had seized upon 
him, as it sometimes does on invalids. 

George sometimes received letters bearing the Ragan postmark. 
Once Maria, noticing the good, manly handwriting of the address, 
enquired of her brother who his correspondent was, and he replied 
" Colin Vass." Maria had already heard George talk of him. Indeed, 
when he first returned from Scotland after the visit to it with Allan 
Grale, he had talked much and openly of the McOrist family. 
Latterly he had grown more reticent. But to-day he seemed to be 

256 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

in a communicative humour. He told Maria that he was quite 
expected at Ragan, that everybody there was ready to receive him ; 
and he went on to speak of sundry changes which had taken place upon 
the farm. 

" Only &ncy, Maria," he said : " the daughter of the house, Moma 
McOrist, is actually married. That last news was a surprise to me. 
She was one of those girls whom one does not altogether expect will 

" But was she not pretty," returned Maria, who felt sure she had 
heard so. 

" Ah, was she not ! " said Geoige, with enthusiasm. " She was 
beautiful But, to me, she seemed more like a spirit than a girl. I 
have found it hard to think of her in any of the ordinary ways of life; 
and yet, after all, this marriage of hers seems to have been quite a 
commonplace affair." 

" Is she well-educated and lady-like ? " enquired Maria. 

"Are spirits — ^angels — ^well-educated and lady-hke?" retorted 
George, with something very like scorn. "The question sounds 
hardly queerer in that cotmection than in connection with Moma 
McOrist You are terribly limited, Maria. You have lived so much 
among china teacups, and set flower-beds, that you must have your 
doubts of mountain springs, and moorland gorse and heather." 

Maria would not allow herself to think that he spoke unkindly. But 
she did think of the pain it would be if words Uke these should recur 
to her memory, when George was no longer there to speak other- 

He went on. " It is hard to realise that Moma McOrist is changed 
into Mrs. Smith " 

" Is she ? " interrupted Maria. " Mrs. Smith ! " 

" Mrs. Smith ; just that So they tell me. It seems the old father 
and mother were not altogether satisfied with the marriage. But I 
doubt if any marriage would have satisfied them for Morna. How- 
ever, she had her own way, as I suspect she generally could have with 
them. I wonder how the cousin, Colin Vass, likes it ! " 

" Do you think he would particularly dislike it ? " asked Maria, in a 
meaning tone. 

George laughed. " Well, I have an idea of the sort, thou^ I 
believe that personally he regarded Moma as he might a tutelary 
angel, or an exalted fairy. For the rest of it, the young man has lived 
awhile outside his native glen ; he has been to College, and has 
enlightened, modem ideas, and so is far less likely than the old people 
to be prejudiced against a stranger, because he is a stranger. I need 
scarcely say, Maria, that this Mr. Smith is one, since I daresay yoQ 
perceive it is not an old Highland name ! " 

Maria smiled dimly, thankful for any sparkle of George's former 
playfulness. " Did he go there a stranger ? " she asked. 

" I infer so," replied George. " And I femcy he must have been up 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 257 

there for some months. What he is, or who he is, I know not. One 
thing I expect would plead strongly in his favour, — that he is not going 
to take Moma away from the Glen. The father and mother would 
hardly have survived that." 
" Has he taken a house there ? " 

" Of all the snug, common-place arrangements," went on George, 
still laughing, " which one could never have imagined in connection 
with such a girl, this last is the chief! Mr. and Mrs. Smith have 
taken the management, or are to take it, of the local hotel ! It is only 
about one mile from Ragan itself." 

" Well," said Maria. It seemed to her a very natural and com- 
mendable state of things for a small farmer's daughter and a 
respectable young man from the South. " Then Mr. Smith cannot 
be a gentleman," said Maria, quickly. 

" No ; imless he is a reduced one. Fellows do all kinds of things 
when the pocket feils. It is impossible to picture a girl of the refined 
nature of Moma McOrist * taking up,' as our servants say, with any 
man not a gentleman." 
"After all, Geoi^ge, she is only a farmer's daughter." 
"True. But — well you cannot understand what an incongruity it 
would be unless you knew her. This Mr. Smith had been staying at 
the hotel for some time when the landlord was laid prostrate by a sudden 
and severe illness, likely to be protracted if not permanent The young 
Englishman, as Colin tells me, undertook, entirely out of good feeling 
and kindliness, the management of the house ; and Moma, out of 
the same good feeling, came up from Ragan to assist the landlady with 
her duties, so as to set her partly free to nurse her sick husband. A 
fev; weeks of such close acquaintance stands as good as months of 
slighter intimacy, you know : and that's how the affair spmng up 
between Moma and Mr. Smith." 

"Does Colin say what part of England Mr. Smith comes from— or 
what his position has been ? " questioned Maria. 

"Not a word Apparently Mr. Smith does not say it himself. 
They call him * reserved.' Possibly he may have had his dark and 
foolish days of some sort, or he may have suffered through others. 
I can quite understand Moma's love going forth most strongly to any- 
body who needed an almost celestial pity and help. They say he 
seems devoted to her : but that nevertheless all the joy of the union 
seems on her side." 
"Does Colin Vass write all this to you, George? " 
"He, or some of the others." 

It passed through Maria's mind that these Ragan people must be 
surely very good correspondents for elderly Scotch folk of even the 
most superior ferming class. And how singular it was that they should 
write so freely to a comparative stranger, as George must be, of the 
affairs of their own daughter. 

VOL. XL. s 

258 The Mystery of Allan Grale. 

'' Is it the mother who writes all these particulars to you ? " she 

" Oh, no," replied George. A slight constraint seemed to settle on 
him as he added : " Somebody I know is staying in — ^in the neigh- 
bourhood ; that's how I get my chief news." 

Maria looked up with a vivid interest now. Her face asked the 
question she did not utter, and George replied to her glance. 

" Nobody you know, Maria. It is somebody with whom I made 
acquaintance at Redboume." 

" Oh," said Maria. " Is he an artist ? " 

" An artist, yes," replied Geoige, briefly. 

" What is his name ? " asked Maria, innocently. 

" They are called Forester," said George. 

" They ! " echoed Maria. "Are there two? Is it a brother and 
sister ? " 

" It is a man and wife," answered George. 

" Forester ? — Forester? I seem to have heard that name before," 
remarked Maria ; but unable at the moment to recall how and where 
she had heard it. " Are they an old married couple, George ? Have 
they any children ? " 

" No. An infiuit was born to Mrs. Forester prematurely : too pre- 
maturely to live. And now, Maria, I think I must rest a bit; I am 
tired," said George, turning his face away from her to bury it in the 
sofa pillow. 



So life at Bering Court settled down for days and weeks under con- 
ditions which would have once seemed to Maria Vivian unendurable ; 
but which, like much which seems so prospectively, she now endured 
very patiently, little hopeful of any change for the better. 

The relations between the family at Moorland House and Lady 
Laura Bond had grown very intimate indeed. Her ladyship was con- 
stantly paying visits to Mrs. Grale, listening with so much patience 
and sympathy to her garrulous narratives about her own young life 
and her " sister Mai^get," that the bereaved woman did not restrain 
the last drop of bitterness in her lamentation over poor Aln/s sad 
end, but candidly bewailed that, after all her housewifely care and 
motherly pride, her boy had been done to death in a patched shirt, 
and carrying a common sixpenny handkerchief 1 

" One ought not to have an unkind thought of the dead," she 
sobbed, " least of all, of those that are taken as he was ; but it does 
seem hard that he had not more regard for the pains and trouble I 
always took — and there's two dozen beautiful shirts left to ?raste novr, 
and I could not count the handkerchiefs ! " 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 259 

" Very sad I " murmured Lady Laura, softly wiping her eyes. 

" Oh, it is ! But if you'll believe it, Lady Laura," went on the 
poor mother, '* I daren't speak out these feelings of mine to Mary 
Anne. She likes eveiything nice, I can tell you, but she has always 
had it found ready to her hand without taking thought or trouble for 
it herself And a proper pride and interest in these things seems 
sordid to her." 

" Maxy Anne is young. And the young cannot be expected to feel 
as we do, my dear lady." 

Mrs. Grale sighed. She had confided everything — nearly every- 
thing— 4md how different that is ! — to Lady Laura. She told her it 
was she who had discovered that a box had been sent to Corrabuin, 
directed to Allan, after he had disappeared. She confided, with 
many tears, how she had been too easily satisfied concerning his 
safety by the removal of that box, little dreaming that it had returned 
to his father's hands. She did not tell Lady Laura what was in 
that box — ^indeed she could not do so — ^but she did not tell her that 
she did not know ; that even since the inquest she had asked her hus- 
band once, in vain, and had reasons of her own for not repeating the 
question. No, all of that she kept secret, speaking of that box as if 
its interest lay only in £dgar Vivian's anxiety to get it off his own 
hands. Concerning Edgar, Mrs. Grale gave no uncertain sound. 
He had killed her Alny j of course he had : man might never be able 
to prove and punish the treacherous deed, but it would be proved and 
punished, for all that Nobody should hinder her from having her 
say. What mattered now ? Her boy was killed among them, and 
they might take away all her money, or put her in prison if they liked 
for saying so. 

Cautioned as much by her father's ominous self-restraint as by his 
direct warning, Mary Anne was more guarded in her words. But 
this very reticence only gave emphasis to her silences, her sighs, and 
her actions. In truth she was believing that she must give up her 
dreams of George Vivian's ever becoming her lover. If what they 
whispered about £dgar was true, that would debar it It seemed as 
good as an old ballad — ^a romantic episode which rarely had had place 
in life. A crime had been committed and a sister must be sacrificed ! 
Apart from that, it was understood that George's life would probably 
be a very short one ; that he might die before the General ; in which 
case Edgar would be heir to the Court But — were criminals, though 
undetected, allowed by law to succeed ? Meanwhile Viscount Rock- 
ford called frequently at Moorland House, and was very attentive to 
her, and sympathising. But perhaps he meant nothing — ^men were so 

In the midst of genuine grief for her brother's fate, thoughts like 
these were often agitating Mary Aime Grale's breast, and issuing in 
many fantastic and inconsistent words and deeds. A rather dramatic 
depression would give way to a very natural fit of gaiety when the 

26o The Mystery of Allan GraU. 

Viscount appeared on the scene, yet would return very prettily during 
the interview. Mary Anne was beginning to believe that the Viscount 
really liked her ; that he would probably ask her to be his wife : and 
she told herself that she should never care for him as she had cared 
for George Vivian. But Lord Rockford did not possess George 
Vivian's attractions. 

There were two people in Bering who felt ready, in those days, to 
wonder at and blame their own gladness in such a world of woe. And 
those two were Charlie Carr and Lettice Palmer. For Charles's inven- 
tion had proved an undoubted success, and his way to competency 
and even fortune was made clear, so that Lettice wore a betrothal 
ring without disguise. It was very early days yet ; still they had dared 
^o begin to think of marriage. Charles had been offered a good 
appointment in a manu&cturing town, upon which he might enter in 
the autumn ; and why need he go alone, to encounter the discomfort 
and loneliness of temporary lodgings, when he might have a dear little 
wife to help him lay the foundations of a permanent home? 

They wanted to fight their own battle, those two young people ; 
they felt so strong and brave in their pure young love. The money 
which Charles had received for his invention would enable him to 
furnish a modest little house, " quite as much as I am equal to manage," 
remarked Lettice. And the bride would take nothing from home 
except a sensible trousseau, and an abundant supply of household 
naperies, for she chose to follow the fashion of former days, which 
assigned that duty to the bride. Upon true hearts, in their joy, the 
woe of others strikes a very sharp blow. Lettice felt as if she could 
for ever ask pardon of her sister Agnes, for being so happy when she 
was so sad. If Agnes would have said a word — if she would have 
wept — if she would have broken down in any way, it would not have 
been so dreadful ! But to see her going about, with her cold, stiU 
face, was almost more than Lettice could bear. 

Their father did not conceal from them a fact which came to his 
knowledge very soon after the inquest. It was indeed a fact of his 
seeking out. He knew he could trust his daughters' discretion and 
silence, and somehow he felt as if he could not bear to withhold from 
Agnes aught concerning the mystery which he knew lay day and 
night upon her heart. Besides, it was not a secret he alone could 
keep. Others had to know of it He himself had to tell it to Mr. 
Grale. Better that Agnes should hear it, told sadly in her own home, 
than that it should start up, any day, like a snake on some unlikely 

It concerned that instrument which had been so strangely returned 
to Webster, the watchmaker, by some person unknown. 

Directly after the inquest, Dr. Palmer had written to ask Webster 
to send the hammer to him. Webster sent it willingly enough, with 
a note, in which he said it had not been used since it was returned to 
him the previous year. Dr. Palmer caused the hammer to be submit- 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 261 

ted to chemical investigation, which showed that there was blood upon 
it Mr. Holmes, of Sladford, examining the hammer with Dr. Palmer, 
agreed with him that it was just the instrument likely to have inflicted 
the wound which the dead man received ; in fact, they both believed 
this self-same instrument had been the one to inflict it 

Mr. Grale's lawyer was for bringing Edgar Vivian to trial He 
thought much of this additional presumptive evidence. 

" It is not sufficient," dissented the doctors, who were not so ready 
to rush into law as the other was. " If a man gets tried upon insuffi- 
cient evidence, and is acquitted, he can't be tried again, you know," 
said they. 

One day Miss Vivian took a short railway journey for the purpose 
of giving instructions concerning some little special article she wished 
to present to Charles and Lettice as a wedding gift It was the first 
time she had gone out of Dering since the passing of the events told 
of; and she had to own to herself that the change of scene, unexciting 
though it was, the fresh fields and hedgerows, the unaccustomed faces 
and streets in the country town to which she resorted, seemed very 
refreshing. As she settled herself in the railway carriage for the return 
journey, she was aware of a strange faint reassertion of her old calm 
and cheerfulness. She did not resent this, as stormier natures often 
do. She said to herself that nature will in time clothe the harshest 
precipices with softest moss and. fairest flowers ; that nature will heal 
the wounded limb so that it is once more fit to encounter work and 
weariness ; she might have gone on to reflect that nature will re-vitalise 
the broken spirit, so that it again becomes conscious of balms, or blows. 
And then she might have proceeded to ask herself which way the next 
blow would fall Instead of that, in her newly re-stirred interest in 
life, she took up a newspaper which some previous passenger had left 
behind him. 

It was a society journal. Maria read what was to be the new fashion 

in bonnets ; and how the Duchess of X had had her portrait 

painted as a jockey ; and that the heir to the Earldom of Y was 

going to marry the heiress of a City merchant's fortune. Then her 
eye wandered on to a longer paragraph in closer type. It was headed 
" The Midland Mystery," and it ran thus : 

"We understand that our sensational novelists might make a fortune 
out of the rumours and romances attaching to this singular tragedy. 
It is even whispered in legal and detective circles that a trial for murder 
nuy be looked for, which will contain all the true elements of a cause 
c^lebre. Whether this prove true or not, there is no doubt that local 
fame— or infamy — ^points an unwavering finger of accusation towards 
the popular scion of an old and respected county family. The latest 
report is that the instrument by which the unfortunate young man, 
Allan Grale, met his death, has been found with his blood still upon 
it, and that the links connecting it with the hand of his assassin are 
neither few nor far between." 

262 The Mystery of A Uan Gralc. 

The paper fell from Maria's hand. By instinct, as it seemed, the 
truth flashed on her mind — ^that the " scion " pointed at was Edgar 

That some trivial surmises and doubts had been whispered by the 
foolish village gossips, as to the appointed meeting (or non-meeting) 
of Edgar and Allan at the Black Pool, Maria knew. But that sus- 
picion could seriously attach itself to her brother, she had never 

'' It is not true," she said to herself aloud, in the empty carriage. 
" These newspaper met^ make paragraphs of what they know nothing ! 
Our Bering people really suspect Edgar ? Never ! I don't think they 
could even believe it of him if he were found guilty : for they know he 
never could be guilty." 

So lost in thought was Maria, that when the train began to draw up 
in the Dering station, she scarcely noticed it, until a porter's voice, 
speaking the fiamily name, caught her ear. He was repeating sundry 
instructions to a fellow porter concerning some boxes of choice fruit 

" I tell you it is. Mr. Vivian gave the order when he was down 
here this morning." 

" Mr. Vivian ? " echoed the other. " I didn't think he was well 
enough to be going about." 

" I don't mean Mr. George," said the porter, testily ; " I mean 

Maria stepped, white and breathless upon the platform. The 
newspaper men were right then ! Was this all the faith which her race 
had earned by generations of honourable men and women ? — by yeais 
of genial kindliness ? Oh, how base people could be ! What a cruel 
world it was 1 She stood still one moment, and then her mind was 
made up. 

She started off, at a rate which seemed strangely inconsistent with 
her fragile figure and worn face. As she went, she muttered to herself 
mechanically : 

" The plain truth ! — the plain truUi ! " 

She never paused, even to take breath, till she stood before the 
Grale Works. She had hardly voice to ask for the master, and the 
startled office boy, astonished at seeing Miss Vivian, ushered her into 
the counting-house. 

The clerks were gone, and Mr. Grale was there alone. But Maria 
would scarcely have noticed whether that was so or not. 

A strange, stony hardness settied on the manu^turer's fJEice when 
he saw who it was that had invaded his privacy. He rose ; but be 
did not offer her a seat, nor did she take one ; though she put her 
hands on the back of a chair as if for support 

" Mr. Grale ! " she gasped, " Mr. Gnde I They are saying in the 
place, that Edgar killed your son Allan 1 " 

" Well," said Mr. Grale, slowly and heavily, " I cannot help that"* 

" But it cannot be true. It is not true I " 

The Mystery of Allan Grale. 263 

" Not true ? Ask him." 

Maria was taken with a fit of shivering. \Vhat did it all mean ? 
Her thoughts were busy, full of tumult, and there was a pause of 

" Mr. Grale," she impulsively cried, gazing at him and reading too 
surely that he at least believed the accusation, '* do you know about 
the diamond cross ? " 

" Mr. Grale looked at her with surprised and angry eyes, in which 
however there lay a certain pain. " The diamond cross ? '* he repeated. 
" I know all about the diamond cross. There is not much to know, 
Miss Vivian. It is safe in our possession. It lies in my wife's jewel 

" Are you quite sure ? " whispered Maria. 

" I am quite sure," replied Mr. Grale. " I saw it there myself bu 
a few days ago. Why do you come to me to ask this ? " 

" It — ^is — ^there 1 " repeated Maria, as if unable to take in the 

" It is." 

Maria did not shriek ; she did not faint ; but her hands relaxed 
their grasp of the chair helplessly, and fell by her side. As Mr. Grale 
moved forward to her assistance, her lips parted to speak, but closed 
again in silence. Turning, she walked to the room door ; and when 
she had passed through it, she halted to look back at Mr. Grale. 

Staggering, like one who has been dealt some great blow, Maria 
set off to walk to the Court, and Mr. Grale sat down to his desk 

Half an hour later, the blacksmith, taking an evening stroll with his 
next-door neighbour, came upon Miss Vivian lying in a dead faint 
among the long grass by the roadside. With kindly, reverent hands, 
they raised her head and the neighbour ran for some water. But she 
gave no sign of returning consciousness. 

" I reckon Mr. Edgar Vivian may have another life to answer for as 
well as young Grale's," whispered the smith to his neighbour. 

" That's so," was the answer. " Hush ! she's coming to. Look ! " 

(To be continued.) 



By T. W. Speight, Author of " In the Dead of Night/* 

T^HE turret clock struck two. 

-■■ Luncheon was just over at Wenlock Towers, and on the terrace 
two young men were pacing slowly, smoking their cigars and talking 
between the whiffs. They were both tall and good-looking. One 
of them was Bruce Wenlock, a captain in a crack cavalry regiment, and 
the eldest son of Sir George Wenlock, the owner of the Towers. The 
other was his half-cousin, Harold Dare, at present a junior clerk in 
Her Majesty's Office of the Green Wand. 

Young Wenlock was dark, with black hair and a heavy mous- 
tache. His face was a very pleasant one, especially when he smiled, 
and his eyes looked into yours with a frankness and candour that were 
almost boyish. He spoke with a slight lisp which many people took 
to be an affectation, whereas it was a natural defect and one which he 
could not help. 

Dare had light hair and steel-blue eyes, and his face was closely 
shaven. His features were good, but their expression was hard and 
somewhat cynical. There was a certain undefinable something in 
his £su:e that made him look several years older than he was. 

It was a bright, frosty afternoon, and the time was some three weeks 
before Christmas. The house had been full of company. There had 
been shooting, riding, dancing, charades, amateur-acting, and un- 
limited flirtation. But the guests were now gone — ^all except Harold 
Dare, who was, however, looked upon almost as one of the family— 
and he was going back to town by the evening train. 

" If you are really as fond of her as you say you are, why don't 
you ask her to marry you ? I don't know a prettier or a better girl 
than Elinor Trenton." The speaker was Captain Wenlock. 

The other gave his shoulders an expressive shrug, and took another 
whiff at his cigar before answering. Then he said : " That she is both 
pretty and good I fully agree with you, and certainly I never cared 
for anyone else in the way I care for her. But look at the position. 
I am a pauper ; Miss Trenton is a pauper ; and neither of us has 
much prospect of ever being anything else. My dear Bruce, I am 
not equal to such a prospect." 

" Your bachelor life in London has made a coward of you," returned 
Captain Wenlock. " What is a man worth who would not dare any- 
thing for the sake of winning the girl of his heart? There are worse 
ills in life than poverty." 

The AfHcthyst Seal. 265 

" As if you knew the meaning of the word, or were ever likely to do 
so ! " answered Dare, with a half-veiled sneer. " I admire your 
enthusiasm, but F cannot imitate it No ! I will hie me back to my 
lonely chambers, and try to think of the witching smiles and sunny 
eyes of sweet Elinor Trenton as being so many luxuries beyond a poor 
man's reach." 

For a few minutes the two men walked and smoked in silence. 

" I rather fancy my father would like you and Elinor to make a 
match of it," remarked Captain Wenlock, presently. 

Dare favoured his companion with a swift, keen glance out of his 
steel-blue eyes, but did not answer in words. 

" By the bye," said Harold, presently, " what has become of that 
young fellow — Boyd I think his name was — to whom I was introduced 
when I was down here last? It seemed to me at the time that he was 
rather sweet on Miss Trenton." 

" James Boyd, you mean, and a very nice fellow. He is a railway 
engineer, and has gone out to Buenos Ayres. I certainly was inclined 
to think that Elinor had found a weak place in his armour ; but I 
don't believe any real harm was done. In any case, it's a far cry to 
South America, and, as he has gone out under a three years' agreement, 
he is not likely to trouble you for some time to come." 

Again the two young men took a turn or two in silence. Then 
Brace said : " I am going down to the post-office presently. You 
may as well walk as far with me, and I daresay Elinor will go also. 
It is a shame to stay indoors on such a lovely afternoon." 

" All right," answered Harold, a little absently. 

Bruce stopped in his walk, and putting his hand into the breast 
pocket of his shooting-jacket, he drew therefrom a long blue envelope, 
sealed with a great splash of red wax. " If this could reveal its 
secrets it might tell us something worth knowing," he said, with a little 
laugh, as he turned it over in his fingers. 

"What is it?" asked Harold, and his keen eyes looked as if 
they would like to pierce the envelope and get at the secrets 

" It is a draft of the governor's will," answered Bruce, as he 
replaced the document in his pocket, " which he is sending to his 
lawyers, Symes and Symes, of Bedford Row. He was engaged all 
the morning in drawing it up, and has asked me to post it for him in 

" Do you mean to say that my uncle " — he always spoke of the 
baronet in that relation — " has not made his will before now?" 

" It seems like it, although I had no knowledge of the fact. I 
fancy he has some sort of superstitious prejudice against making his 
will : many people have ; but since that last attack I suppose he has 
made up his mind to delay no longer." 

In a little while Bruce spoke again. " I hope with all my heart 
that he has not forgotten either you or Ehnor in it," he said 

266 The Amethyst Seal. 

earnestly ; " though I do not think it at all likely that he would 
do so." 

This was a generous-hearted wish on the part of Bruce Wenlock, 
seeing that he was his father's only son, and that whatever was be- 
queathed to others would be so much loss to himself 

Dare threw a quick glance at his companion's face. 

" I believe he really means what he says," he muttered to himself. 
He had a vague feeling that were he in Bruce's place no such wish 
would emanate from him. 


Presently Bruce went indoors to write a note, after which the 
cousins were to walk down to the village together. Harold was not 
sorry to be left alone for a little while. 

One remark of Bruce's had set him thinking ; had indeed driyen 
his thoughts into quite a new channel. His cousin had said: 
" If this could reveal its secrets it might tell us something worth 
knowing." Harold could not get these words out of his mind. It 
would indeed be a secret worth knowing if he could by any means 
ascertain the baronet's intentions with regard to himself. No one but 
himself knew how near he was to the verge of ruin. Not much 
longer would Mr. Shadrach wait for his money unless he could prove 
to that astute individual's satisfaction that a policy of delay would 
bring him in more substantial advantages in time to come. Sir 
George had made him an allowance of two hundred a year ever since 
he had entered on his duties at the office of the Green Wand, so 
that he was scarcely likely to forget him in his will. But the 
question was as to the limit which the baronet in such a case would 
set to his generosity. Would he think five thousand pounds too 
little to bequeath to the son of his cousin? would he think ten 
thousand pounds too much ? or was it not just possible that Sir 
George might satisfy his conscience by bequeathing him a paltiy 
legacy of one or two thousand only ? What would he not give for 
a glimpse at the paper at that moment in Bruce Wenlock's 
pocket ! 

Then again as regarded Elinor Trenton, although she was only 
Sir George's ward and no relation at all, he was almost sure to 
remember her in his will. He had no daughter of his own and did 
not disguise his liking for Elinor. What more natural than that he 
should put her name down for a legacy of five or six thousand 
pounds. If he, Harold, could only assure himself that such was the 
fact he would propose to her at once. He was in love with her as 
much as it was in his nature to be in love with anyone, but as he 
had told himself over and over again, he could not afford to many a 
penniless wife. If only some wizard would put that red-sealed paper 
into his hands for three minutes, what a chapter of the future would 
be revealed to him I Were there no possible means, fair or unfiur — ^in 
such a case it would be foolish to stick at trifles — ^by which he could 
obtain a sight at it ? No : none, none ! 

The Amethyst Seal. 267 

He sighed, lit a fresh cigar, and continued his solitary pacing to 
and fix). A few minutes later he was joined by Captain Wenlock and 
Miss Trenton, and the three set off to walk to the village post-office, 
three quarters of a mile away. 

Harold Dare might well be excused for falling in love with 
Elinor Trenton. She was in truth a girl that seemed to overflow 
with sunshine and happiness. Melancholy and she seemed as far as 
the poles asunder. And yet she was entirely dependent, just now, 
on the bounty of Sir George, and with no future worth speaking of 
from a worldly point of view. It was her nature to be happy, and to 
make those around her the same, as far as lay in her power, and she 
never tried to be different. 

It was pleasant walking along the dry, hard, country roads, that 
bright frosty afternoon. Dare, who had usually an easy flow of 
conversation in whatever company he might happen to find himself, 
was to-day more distrait and silent than usual. The same thought 
that had filled his mind on the terrace was still at work here, and 
would not be put aside. Thus it fell out that the Captain and Miss 
Trenton had most of the conversation to themselves. 

The Stilwater post-office was also a draper's shop. As, however, 
the captain's letters were already stamped there was no occasion for 
him to go inside. He took the letters out of his pocket, glanced 
once more at the addresses on them, and then dropped them one by 
one into the box. The last to leave his fingers was the blue envelope 
with the red seal. Harold Dare felt as though he should like 
to follow it into the letter-box. It was gone, irrevocably gone ! 

They decided to return home by a different and a longer route, 
which would prolong their walk. It was past five when they reached 
the Towers. Dinner to-day was to be an early and informal affair, as 
Harold would have to leave almost as soon as it was over ; besides 
which, Sir George was too indisposed to leave his room, and his 
sister, Mrs. Borrowdaile, was away visiting, so that the young people 
would dine by themselves. 

When Harold reached his room he began mechanically to pack 
his belongings. He had one largish portmanteau and a small 
Gladstone bag. When the process was completed he sat down in an 
easy chair in front of his dressing-room fire, and leaning back with his 
hands behind his head, fell once more into a brown study. The 
subject of his thoughts was the same that it had been before. If 
only — if only he could obtain a sight of that rough draft of his 
uncle's will ! If only he knew the best or the worst, he could then 
decide in what way to meet that future which was now coming so 
imminently upon him 1 

He had sat for full ten minutes without moving, his eyes fixed on 
the ceiling, when he suddenly sprang to his feet. His fiice flushed 
and then grew pale. 

''By Jove," he muttered to himself. The exclamation was a 

268 The Amethyst Seal, 

commonplace one, but the way he gave utterance to it meant a great 
deal. Then he sat down again and fell to staring into the fire, as 
though in the glowing embers he saw bodied forth some vision or 
picture projected from his own mental retina. 

He was still sitting thus when the first bell rang. This roused 
him. He rose and pushed back his chair, and as he did so he said 
aloud : " I'll do it and take the risk." 

If Harold Dare had seemed dull and out of sorts in the afternoon 
no one could have complained of his lack of spirits at dinner that 
evening. He laughed and joked and talked enough nonsense for two 
men. But his gaiety had something forced and feverish about it, and 
he drank considerably more wine than was customary with him. 
Elinor looked at him once or twice with a little wonder, but the 
Captain thought to himself that he had never seen his cousin '^ in 
better form." 

After dinner there was time for a little music. Elinor sang a 
couple of songs. Dare turned over her music and hovered round her 
with the air and empressement of a devoted suitor. Miss Trenton 
neither encouraged nor repulsed him, but treated him precisely as she 
treated Captain Wenlock. She had often puzzled Harold before, 
and she puzzled him again this evening ; but just then he had other 
matters to occupy his thoughts. 

Presently the wheels of the dogcart were heard crunching the gravel 
on the drive. The time had come to say good-bye. It had been 
the captain's intention to drive his cousin to the station, but Sir 
George having intimated his desire that his son should spare an 
hour or two after dinner to look through some business papers, a 
groom had been deputed to take charge of the dogcart 

Sir George — a fine specimen of an English country gentleman, but 
at present sadly out of health — bade his young kinsman a cordial 
farewell, told him not to &il to come and see them at Christmas, 
and then slipped an envelope into his unreluctant palm, which, on 
opening later on, he found to contain a cheque for a hundred 

Next came Harold's farewell to Elinor. He would fain have thrown 
a sort of veiled tenderness over their parting, and was desirous that an 
aroma of sentiment should cling to it But the laughter in Miss 
Trenton's eyes dismayed him from trying any such experiment So, 
as it fell out, they parted gaily enough, like acquaintances who might 
or who might not meet again in a little while. 

A warm grip of the hand from Bruce Wenlock, and then Harold 
Dare climbed into the dogcart, and buttoned his ulster about hint 
His black bag was under the seat ; his portmanteau was to follow 
him on the morrow. 

" To BarrowclifF station, I suppose, sir ? " said Perkins, as they 
passed through the lodge gates. 

" No ; to Thomdale station. That will suit me better." 

The Amethyst Seal. 269 

Not another word spoke he, but puffed at his cigar in grim silence 
till the lights of the station came in view, and the four miles' drive 
was at an end. Then he took his bag, saw the groom set off on the 
road home, and made his way towards the booking-office. 


The village of Stilwater, where Captain Wenlock posted his letters, 
may be said to form the apex of an irr^;ular triangle, of which the 
railway stations of Barrowcliif and Thomdale formed the respective 
points of the base. It was rather more than four miles from Stilwater 
to Thomdale, and rather more than five miles from the same place to 
Barrowcliff. Both the stations were on one of the direct trunk lines 
from south to north, and vice-versi. Barrowcliff was a manufacturing 
town of some pretensions, whereas Thomdale was nothing but a pretty 
hamlet — ^but it was a hamlet round which were clustered the mansions 
of several county magnates, and for that reason, if for no other, a 
considerable number of trains, both up and down, were timed to call 
at the little station. 

As a consequence of there being no station at Stilwater, the post- 
bags pertaining to that place were conveyed by mail-cart to and from 
BarrowdifT, a &ct of which Mr. Harold Dare was thoroughly 

That gentleman, after bidding the groom good-night, went inside 
the station and devoted a fiill quarter of an hour to a study of the 
different time-tables suspended on the booking-office walls. Then, as 
soon as the little window was opened, he proceeded to take his 
ticket, but not, as anyone would have supposed, for London, but for 
BanowclifT, five miles in the opposite direction. A few minutes later 
the down train steamed into the station, and a quarter of an hour after 
that Dare alighted at the place for which he had booked. He 
glanced at the station clock as he did so and saw that it was half-past 

No one there was likely to know him, and he entered the refresh- 
ment-room without hesitation. The night was very cold, and a little 
hot grog under such circumstances is allowable. Then he filled his 
pocket-flask with brandy, lit a cigar, and sallied forth. On his way 
through the town he called at a chemises shop and made a small 
purchase. The station at Barrowcliff was in the suburbs of the town, 
and in a little while Dare had left the streets behind him, and found 
himself on the quiet country road that led to Stilwater. It was re- 
quisite that he should now time his movements with great accuracy. 
He took out his watch under the last gas lamp, before plunging into 
the darkness of the country, and found that he had still ample time 
for his purpose. The night was clear and frosty ; the stars gleamed 
in the sky like shining points of steel. 

270 The Amethyst Seal. 

Harold went on his way, scarcely meeting a creature, until he 
reached a point on which he had fixed previously in his own mind. 
A little way back from the road, on a piece of waste land, stood the 
carcases, as they are called, of two new houses which had never been 
completed, in all probability because the builder had fallen short of 
funds. They had been standing untouched any time these two years, 
and Harold had noticed them more than once when journeying be- 
tween Stilwater and Barrowcliff. Nothing could well look more 
desolate and forlorn. They were so many bare walls of bare brick, 
roofed in with bare slates, and that was all ; windowless and doorless 
they stood, open to all the winds that blew. 

When Dare reached this lonely spot he came to a stand. For 
full two' minutes he stood without moving, listening intently. For any 
sound of human life that he could hear he might have been the last 
man left alive in the world. Satisfied that he had nothing to fear on 
the score of being seen or heard, he crossed the patch of weed- 
covered ground and entered one of the unfinished houses. Here he 
halted and struck a match, with which he lighted a small bull's-eye 
lantern which he produced from his bag. Throwing the rays of the 
lantern before him, so as to save himself from stumbling over any 
obstacle which might chance to be in his path, he passed forward into 
one of the back rooms, where he felt that he would be stiU safer from 
the observation of any chance passer-by. Then opening his bag 
again he brought forth from its recesses a black wig and a thick black 
moustache, which, had formed part of his " make-up " when playing 
the character of Captain Hawtree in a scene from Caste at Wenlock 
Towers. The wig he proceeded to draw on over his own dosely- 
cropped head of light hair ; while the moustache was readily fixed in 
its place by the aid of a little spirit-gum. His next proceeding was 
to substitute for the low-crowned felt hat he had been wearing a hjgb- 
crowned opera hat which he had brought with him, shut up, in his 
bag. Then having tied a thick white muffler round his neck, he felt 
that his disguise was complete. 

Leaving his bag in a comer of the unfinished house, but taking his 
lantern with him after having turned on the dark slide, Harold 
Dare issued forth, and after listenihg intently for a few seconds he 
crossed the waste ground to the high road, and then set off at a rapid 
pace in the direction of Stilwater. 

The mail-cart between Stilwater and Barrowcliff had been driven 
by one man for thirty years. His name was John Pegram, and he 
had now turned his sixtieth birthday. John's jolly, rubicund visage 
was known to everybody, and everybody averred that he was no one's 
enemy but his own. It was universally believed, however, that John 
could drive better when he was ** half seas over " than when he was 
perfectly sober ; and as for his old bay mare, you had only to put her 
head in the direction you wanted her to go and she required no driv- 
ing at all. 

The Amethyst Seal. 271 

John left the post-office at Stilwater with the mail-bags for London 
and the South between half-past nine and a quarter to ten every 
night, so as to be in time to catch the up-mail at Barrowcliff station 
at 10.30. Of this fact Harold Dare was perfectly aware, he and 
Captain Wenlock having met the old man more than once when 
out on summer evenings for a late walk along the country roads, and 
it was of this knowledge that Dare had now determined to avail him- 
self. He had timed his calculations with a view of encountering the 
mail-cart about half way between the village and the station,, at a spot 
where, for a mile or more, the road ran between two high banks 
covered with thick hedgerows. He was aware that John, out of pure 
good nature, or it may be with an eye to an extra glass of grog, 
although it was contrary to his instructions, sometimes gave a lift on 
the cart to some belated friend or acquaintance whom he might 
chance to overtake on the road, and he could only hope most 
devotedly that to-night of all nights the old driver might be silone. 

As soon as Dare reached that part of the road where it began to 
dip between the high banks he slackened his pace somewhat, and after 
every few yards that he advanced he stood still for a few seconds to 
listen. He had advanced thus cautiously for about half a mile when 
his quick ears caught the faint sound of wheels in the distance. His 
heart gave a great bound, and he was obliged to steady himself for a few 
moments against the trunk of a tree. The sound could now be plainly 
heard coming towards him on the frost-hardened road. At once he 
turned and began to retrace his steps in the direction of Barrowcliff. 
The vehicle, whatever it might be, came nearer and nearer, till in a 
little while it was but a few yards behind him. Now or never was his 

Halting suddenly and flinging a quick backward glance into the 
darkness he could just make out that it was indeed the mail cart, and 
that there was only one figure on the box. 

" Ith that you, John Pegwam ? " he called out, with a capital imi- 
tation of his cousin's voice and lisp. 

" Aye, it's me, sure enough. And who may you be ? " came the 
answer, while the old mare, hearing voices, slackened her pace of 
her own accord. 
" Don't you know me ? Captain Wenlock." 
'' Blest if I knew you, sir, it's so dark hereabouts. Woa, Tulip, 
lass." The mare came to a dead halt '< Can I do anything for you, 
Captain ? " 

^ You can give me a lift as far as the station, if you like. The 
night was so fine I started to walk, but I'm afraid I shall miss my 
train." All this was said with a lisp precisely as Bruce Wenlock would 
have spoken it. 

" All right, Captain. I'm in good time, to-night Just put your 
foot on that step and catch hold of this strap and there you are." 
Five seconds later Harold Dare was sitting by the side of John 

272 The Amethyst Seal. 

Pegram, and Tulip had resumed her jog-trot pace on her way to the 

John had known Bruce Wenlock ever since the latter was a youth 
home from school for his hohdays, and had had more than one half- 
crown from him for doing little commissions in Barrowcliff for the 
young man. It is scarcely needful to say that the old driver had not 
the slightest suspicion that the man sitting by his side was other than 
he had represented himself to be. 

Dare, who had heard mention made of John's convivial propen- 
sities, at once perceived that the old man had not started on his 
cold drive without getting what he himself would have termed pretty 
well " primed *' beforehand. This state of things to a certain extent 
helped forward the end Dare had in view, inasmuch as John would 
be likely to succumb more readily to further temptation in the same 
direction. In feet, they had not gone more than a hundred yards 
before Dare said : " This is the sort of weather when a man feels the 
want of something warm inside to fight against the cold outside." 
With that he drew his flask from his pocket, opened it, poured some 
of the contents into the cup, and pretended to drink it off. Then 
pouring a quantity more into the cup he handed it to John. 
" Swallow this, old boy ; you will find it do you good," he said. 

John drew Tulip up into a walk, and took the flask in his left 
hand. He was quite aware that he had already taken as much, or 
more, perhaps, than was good for him. But the odour of the brandy 
was sweet to him, and the night was certainly vevy cold, and his 
conscience was not in the habit of making much of a fight on such 
occasions. The natural consequence ensued : he hesitated, and was 
lost Lifting the silver cup to his lips, he swallowed the contents at 
one huge gulp. 

The spirit was potent, and John coughed a little as he jogged 
Tulip to get up her pace again. " That's strong stuff, captain, and 
it's got a queer twang with it," he said. '' What may be the name of 
it, now ? " 

" It's Dutch brandy ; what the mynheers drink in Holland.'* 

" Ah, I've heard say as how they are a rum lot over there.** 

It was not Dare's policy to talk, so he made no reply. But if he 
did not talk he watched his companion keenly. The crucial moment 
was at hand. 

Presently John Pegram's head began to nod ominously. He pulled 
himself up with a jerk, yawned, and rubbed his eyes with his dis- 
engaged hand. For two or three minutes all went weU. Then his 
head began to nod again, then he drew himself up again, but not so 
successfully as before. One or two further faint struggles he made, 
but in vain. His eyes felt as if they had leaden weights on them, 2 
numbness crept through all his limbs, his chin sank forward on his 
chest ', John was fast asleep. One hand still grasped the reins ; he 
was kept from felling by the strap round his waist, which was securely 

The Amethyst Seal. 273 

buckled to the iron-work of his seat. Tulip, unconscious that any- 
thing out of the ordinary was happening behind her, jogged quietly 
on her way. 

Nothing happened to mar Harold Dare's scheme. They met one 
or two vehicles returning from Barrowcliff, and three or four belated 
pedestrians, but the sight of two people instead of one on the box of 
the mail-cart was not so unusual as to call for particular notice. 
Here and there they passed a farm-house, but the lights were all 
extinguished, and the inmates in bed long ago. And so, after what 
seemed to Harold a greater number of hours than they were minutes 
in reality, the mail cart reached the waste plot of ground on which 
stood the two unfinished houses. Here Harold contrived to get 
possession of the reins, although not without a little difficulty. John's 
fingers seemed to grip them instinctively, sound asleep though he 
was, and even after they had been taken from him his hand still kept 
its shape and position as before. 

An admonitory tug brought Tulip to a stand. Harold listened 
with all his might for the sound of anything that might be approach- 
ing either from one direction or the other ; but all was silence, the 
most profound. Then he turned the mare's head towards the waste 
ground, and leaping down, led her round a gable of the empty houses, 
and so to the back of them, where noihing could be seen from the 
high road. This done, he climbed into the cart again and turned on 
the light of his bull's-eye. 

The mail bags were contained in a receptacle at the back of the 
cart, the lid of which was simply fastened with a hasp. The first 
bag that Harold drew out was the very one he wanted. It bore a 
brass label with the word " London " on it, and its mouth was tied 
round with string, sealed with coarse red wax. Harold's sharp 
penknife quickly cut through the string, and then the bag was open 
to his hand. 

The correspondence between Stilwater and the outer world was, as 
a rule, not very voluminous, and the bag was only about one third 
full. Harold's eager fingers had little difficulty in finding the par- 
ticular packet they were in search of, seeming to close on it instinc- 
tively the moment they touched it. Satisfying himself by a single 
glance that he had not made a mistake, he thrust the packet into his 
breast-pocket, blew out his lantern, hurriedly tied up the mouth of 
the bag, put it back amongst the other bags, shut down the lid, and 
leaped lightly to the ground. 

Then entering the empty house, Dare quickly found his own bag 
in the comer where he had left it It was a work of very little time 
to divest himself of his wig, moustache, opera-hat, and white muffler. 
Then taking his bag in one hand, he went back to the mail-cart, and 
leading Tulip by the head, they were all presently on the solitary 
high load again. The mare's head was turned in the direction of 
Stilwater, the reins were replaced in John's unconscious fingers, and 


274 ^^^ Amethyst Seal. 

Tulip being bidden to " gee-up," started off at a brisk trot, bein^ 
probably quite aware that she was on her way back to the stable. 
That night the Stilwater letter-bag never reached London. 

Having seen the mail-cart and its sleeping driver disappear in the 
darkness, Harold Dare set off at a rapid pace on his way back to 
Barrowcliff. He reached the station in due course, but by that time 
the London mail had gone — ^for which he was not sony--after wait- 
ing five minutes beyond its specified time for the Stilwater bags. 
But the down mail to the north was due in a quarter of an hour, and 
by that he booked. Two hours later he found himself in Manchester. 
There he stayed the night, and travelled up to town by an early train, 
but by a different route, next morning. 

All this time he had kept the stolen packet unopened in his pocket. 
Impatient as he was to master the secret of its contents, he deemed it 
best not to attempt to open the envelope till the proper means for 
doing so were ready to his hand. In his rooms he had a spirit-lamp, 
with an apparatus for making coffee. With the jet of steam from this 
he carefully melted the seal, and by the same means removed the 
stamps which had been defaced at the Stilwater post-office. Then 
he was free to read that for which he had run so many risks. 

He sat down in his easy chair trembling with excitement, and 
drew the folded foolscap from its envelope. His uncle's crabbed 
writing was familiar to him, and he had no difficulty in deciphering 
it. His eye skimmed the manuscript rapidly, taking no note of 
details, till on the third page he found the first mention of his own 
name. "To my kinsman, Harold Dare, I bequeath the sum of 
eight thousand pounds." 

Eight thousand pounds ! It was more, far more, than his hopes 
had dared to foreshadow. All would yet be well with him. His 
heart gave a great throb of relief, the hand that held the paper 
dropped by his side ; for the moment he was overcome. 

But there was something else that he was almost equally anxious 
to see. He turned over another page, and there found what he was 
looking for. "To my beloved ward, Elinor Trenton, who has been 
to me as a dear daughter, I bequeath the sum of six thousand 

Why, this was better and better ! Harold felt that he had never 
loved Elinor nearly so much as at that moment ; never had she seemed 
so dear to him before. He made up his mind there and then that he 
would propose to her at Christmas, and he had a sufficiently good 
opinion of himself to feel little doubt as to the result His star was 
evidently in the ascendant. 

When he had in some measure recovered his equanimity he read 
the draft through carefully, clause by clause. There was nothing 
else in it that interested him. Of course the bulk of everything went 
to his cousin, Bruce — ^it could not be otherwise. 

Now that he had ascertained all that it behoved him to know, the 

The Amethyst Seal* 275 

question arose as to the best and safest mode of forwarding the docu- 
ment to its destination so that no suspicion that it had been tampered 
with should be aroused in the mind of its recipient. He lit a cigar 
and lay back in his chair, with his eyes fixed on one comer of the 
ceiling. By the time his smoke was finished he had made up his 
mind as to the safest course to pursue. He would replace the manu- 
script in its original envelope ; it would never do to put it into a fresh 
one and address it in his own writing ; and would carefully seal it up 
again. Only, and here was the rub, he would have to make use of a 
seal of his own wherewith to impress the wax, which, as a matter of 
course, would be altogether different from the one used by Sir George, 
He could not see that the difference would matter. How was Mr. 
Symes to know that the seal was other than his client's ? 

Going into his dressing-room he unlocked an old-fashioned bureau 
which stood there, and took out of one of the drawers a certain ame- 
thyst seal, set in. gold, which once upon a time had belonged to his 
&ther. It was one of those ponderous seals which gentlemen used to 
wear attached to their watches, some forty or fifty years ago. How it 
had come into his father's possession, Harold had never heard. It 
was beautifully cut On the upper side were two hands clasped as if 
in friendship ; underneath the hands was a dagger, point downwards ; 
and below that the one word DSsormais. No one knew that he had 
such a seal in his possession ; what could be safer than to make use 
of it in an emergency such as the present ? 

Accordingly the envelope was reclosed, and the hot wax stamped 
with the impress of the amethyst seal. Then fresh postage stamps 
were affixed over the place where the original ones had been, and then 
there was nothing more to do save to drop the packet into the nearest 
pillar box. He waited till dusk before doing this. Then with a sigh 
of reUef that his dangerous task was safely over, he turned and walked 
slowly in the direction of his club. 


The " Robbery of the Stilwater Mail," as it was called, was a regular 
godsend to the newspapers, big and little, happening, as it did, at that 
dead season of the year which comes just before Christmas. But a 
mystery it was at the beginning, and a mystery it seemed likely to 
remain to the end of the chapter. 

Captain Wenlock had no difficulty in proving an alibi. Indeed, all 
who knew him ridiculed the idea of his being mixed up in any way in 
such an affair. He had plenty of witnesses to vouch that he had 
never left home on the evening in question. Still, the affair annoyed 
both him and Sir George considerably. 

On the second day after the discovery. Sir George said to, his son : 
" You had better telegraph to Symes and ask him whether he has 
received the draft of the will all right." So the Captain rode into 

276 The Atnethyst Seal. 

BarrowclifT and sent off his message, and waited for the replj, which 
was : " Draft of will safely to hand" So the baronet's mind was 
set at rest on that score. 

About a week later Mr. Symes in person arrived at Wenlock Towers. 
He brought with him Sir George's will, drawn up in due forai, in 
accordance with the instructions which he had received He dined 
and slept at the Towers, and had an interview with the Baronet in his 
own room next morning. The will was read over and approved oC 
The Vicar of the parish and Mr. Selwyn of Crombie, who were to act 
as witnesses, would arrive a little later on and stay to luncheon. 

When Mr. Symes had finished reading the will, he said to his client: 
" Here is the draft, Sir Geoige, which I received from you by post 
I thought it best to give it back into your own hands." 

" It's only so much waste paper now, and may as well be burnt 
By-the-bye, it was posted the very night the London bag was broken 
open by some scoundrel who personated my soru I suppose, how- 
ever, that you received it in the course of the fbllowing day ? " 

" No, I didn't," returned the lawyer. " This envelope, as you may 
see for yourself, if you care to examine it, bears the Stilwater postmark 
of December 3rd, the London postmark of the 4th, and it reached 
my office by the first delivery on the morning of the 5 th." 

Sir George rang for his son. " I thought you told me," he said to 
Bruce, " that the letters which were in the bag that was broken open 
on the night of the 3rd, were sent on by the six o'clock train next 
morning, and would be delivered in London by mid-day or a litde 
later ? " 

" That is quite correct, sir." 

" Yet Symes tells me he didn't receive the draft of the will till 
the morning of the fifth." 

" That is certainly very singular," answered Bruce. 

The draft, still in its original envelope, was on the table. Bruce 
took it up with a view of examining the postmarks, but the moment his 
eye fell on the seal, which was still intact — Mr. Symes, in his business- 
like way, having cut carefully round it with a penknife, when opening 
the envelope — the expression of his countenance changed. 

"When I posted this document, sir," he said, turning to his 
fother, " I certainly did not notice that you had fastened it up with a 
seal that I had never seen before." 

" Eh — ^what ! " exclaimed the Baronet. " I only sealed it with the 
seal I always use." 

Bruce handed him the envelope without another word. Sir Geoige 
put on his spectacles and crossed to the window and examined the 
seal minutely. " Symes — Bruce," he exclaimed presently in a hollow 
voice, ** this envelope has been tampered with ! This is no seal of 
mine ; I never saw it before." 

The three men looked at each other in consternation. On what 
followed it is not needful that we should dwell The whole afiair 

The Amethyst Seal. 277 

was shrouded in mystery. The more they asked themselves who 
could possibly have done it, and what end the person who did it could 
have had in view, the more bewildered they became. After a long 
discussion, the only conclusion they could arrive at was, that the 
document must have been abstracted from the letter bag — together 
probably with others — on the supposition that it contained notes or 
negotiable securities of some kind, and that when it was found to 
contain nothing of value, it had been resealed and forwarded to its 

Sir George was much put about by the affair. It seemed to dwell 
in his mind even more than the fact of his son having been per- 
sonated by some unknown scoundrel. It worried him and irritated 
him beyond measure. 

But at the very time Mr. Symes was at the Towers, another link in 
the same chain of circumstances was being forged elsewhere. On 
the same evening that the lawyer and Captain Wenlock dined together, 
Harold Dare was dining at a friend's house in the suburbs of London. 
The weather was very bad, and Harold, who hated discomfort of any 
kind, was easily persuaded into accepting a bed for the night. Next 
morning, on his way back to the office, he found that he had left his 
keys at home overnight, and was consequently compelled to drive 
round there in the hansom he had engaged at the station. On enter- 
ing his rooms he was astounded to find that they had been broken 
into during his absence, and the whole place rifled. He sent at once 
for the police, and while they were examining the premises, he pro- 
ceeded to make out an inventory of the stolen property. 

If the burglars had expected to find much property of value in 
Harold's rooms, they must have been woefully disappointed. Harold 
was not rich enough to have much spare jewellery over and above 
that which he usually wore, but all that there was they had made a 
clean sweep of. A couple of five-pound notes, which had been in a 
drawer of his writing-desk, were also missing. But what he, perhaps, 
regretted more than all the rest was an old-fashioned watch that had 
belonged to his father, a diamond and pearl brooch that had been his 
mother's, and — ^the amethyst seal. 

He enumerated each article that had been stolen, describing them 
as far as his memory served him, but when he handed the list to the 
police, it was with a rueful foreboding that he would never see or hear 
anything more of his property. 

On the morning of the 23rd of December, Harold Dare left London 
to spend his Christmas at Wenlock Towers. He took half-a-dozen 
newspapers with him in the train, and he amused himself on the way 
down by picking out and reading their latest comments on what they 
had now come to term " The Stilwater Mystery." By this time there 
was little more left for them to say than that up to the latest date the 
police had failed in obtaining any clue to the perpetrator of this 
remarkable outrage. Harold smiled to himself as he read. 

278 The Aniefhyst Seal. 

Bruce Wenlock met him at the station with the dogcart 

" I have made up my mind at last," said Harold, as they drove 
along together. 

" Made up your mind to what ? " 

" To propose to Elinor Trenton." 

" You ought to have made up your mind long ago, as I advised 

" What do you mean ? " 

" Simply that you are too late in the field. James Boyd proposed 
to her yesterday and was accepted." 

Dare sat like a man stupefied. After a long silence he said : " I 
thought you told me that Boyd was under a three years' engagement 
in South America." 

" So he is. He went out as sub-engineer, but the chief engineer 
having died, they have given Boyd his berth. He is over in England 
to see about some new machinery, and I suppose he thinks that he 
can now afford to marry." 

There was another long pause before Harold spoke again. Then 
he asked : '* Does your fether know of this arrangement ? " 

" Certainly he does — and approves of it You must remember that 
James Boyd is the son of one of his oldest friends." 

" And he will have six thousand pounds with his wife, though he 
doesn't know it," said Harold to himself. 

His thoughts were very bitter. He loved Elinor Trenton as much 
as it was in his shallow, selfish nature to love anyone other than him- 
self; and — such is human nature — now that she was lost to him he 
felt that she was dearer to him than she had ever been before. How 
he fumed at his stupidity for not having foreseen that Sir George would 
hardly fail to remember in his will one who had been to him almost 
as a child of his own, and for not having proposed to her, and run the 
risk of everything coming right in the end 1 Yes, his thoughts were 
very bitter. 

He had time to school himself before he met her, so that she should 
not even suspect the wound under his armour. He greeted her with 
easy, smiling cordiality, and accorded her his congratulations in a few 
happily-turned phrases. Never had Harold Dare seemed in a gayer 
or merrier humour than he was that night Bruce Wenlock looked 
on and wondered. Alas ! for the morrow. 

Next day was Christmas Eve, and the guests began to arrive by 
ones and twos. On account of the state of Sir George's health the 
gathering at the Towers this Christmas was to be a comparatively small 
one, being confined to relatives and the more intimate friends of the 

Bruce and Harold were playing a game of billiards by the waning 
light of the afternoon, having the room to themselves, when a servant 
entered and stated that " a person " from London desired to see Mr. 
Dare on a matter of importance. 

The Amethyst Seal. 279^ 

" Show him in here," said Harold, promptly. " Some messenger 
from the office, I suppose," he remarked to Bruce. '* I hope to good- 
ness they don't want me back before my holidays are over." 

But when the " person " entered, although he was dressed in plain 
clothes, Harold at once recognised him as one of the two policemen 
who had examined his rooms after the robbery. He carried a black 
bag in one hand. 

" Good afternoon, Mr. Dare," said the man, with that air of respect* 
ful ^miliarity which his class know so well how to assume when it 
pleases them to do so. " But perhaps you don't recollect me, sir ? " 
he added. 

" Oh, yes, I recollect you well enough," answered Harold, as he 
proceeded to chalk the end of his cue. 

" That's all right then, sir. You will be pleased to hear that we 
have caught the rascal who broke into your rooms. On searching 
him we found a number of pawn tickets, and on going round to the 
various pawnbrokers, among a Ust of property stolen from other 
people, we found nearly all the articles specified in the list which you 
made out and gave to me. The man was up before the magistrate 
this morning and remanded for a week ; and if you identify the 
articles contained in this bag as your property, you will be required to 
appear at Bow Street at two o'clock on Wednesday morning next to 
swear to that fact." 

" All right," answered Harold, who had taken advantage of the break 
in the game to light a fresh cigar. " And now let us see what you 
have in the bag." 

The constable opened his bag and brought out the articles it con* 
tained one by one. Each article was wrapped in a separate piece 01 
paper which he proceeded to unfold, ranging the stolen property in a 
TOf along the table as he did so. There was the big, old-fashioned 
watch, there was the diamond and pearl brooch, there was the amethyst 
se^, together with sundry rings and other trinkets. Harold glanced 
hiSjpye over the row. " Yes," said he ; " they are mine, all of them, 
and I am prepared to swear that they were stolen from my rooms on 
the^night of the 1 2th instant;" 

";Tjtuil^ is,all we require you to do, sir," said the officer. 

Bruce^ Wenlock, wt^o was standing by, took up the old watch and 
€xamine4'j^t| ^u^th/si^ took -KP ^^^ amethyst seal. The afternoon was 
waning rapndly by.^thfis time, aiid he carried the seal to the window 
that he might have a better view of it Neither of the others noticed 
the start he gay^ s^, moment or two later. Then he laid a hand on the 
window-sill as if to. steady himself. Presently he went back to the 
table and laid down the, seal without a word, after which he returned 
to the window and stood as before with his back to the room and its 

A minute or two later the constable, having first been duly tipped 
by Harold, took his leave, carrying his bag and its contents with him. 

28o The Amethyst Seal. 

" Shall I ring for the servant to light up ? " queried Harold. 

" I don't care to play any more to-day," was the response. 

" You are not ill, I hope," said Harold, struck by the change in his 
cousin's voice. 

" Not at all. By-the-bye, how did that amethyst seal come into 
your possession?" 

Harold, who at that moment was winding up his watch, stopped 
in the midst of the process, as though all the pulses of his being had 
suddenly ceased their functions. There was utter silence while a per- 
son might have counted six slowly. Then, with an elaborate assump- 
tion of carelessness, he replied, " It came to me with a lot of other 
things at my father's death." With that he finished the winding up of 
his watch. 

** The heraldic design, or whatever it may be called, that is engraved 
on it, is rather an uncommon one, I should imagine," said Bruce. 

" It may be uncommon, or it may be common," responded the 
other. " It is a point that I never troubled my head about." 

" Uncommon as it is, I have seen it once before," resumed Brace; 
" and that not very long ago. Can you guess where it was that I saw 
it ? " As he asked this question he turned suddenly and &ced his 

There was a sort of stem solemnity in his voice. His tall figure, 
clearly outlined against the grey disc of the window behind him, 
seemed to his cousin's guilty conscience to loom taller than human 
through the gathering gloom. 

" You do not answer me," went on Bruce, after a moment's pause; 
*' Such being the case, I will answer for you. In my fisither's desk is 
a certain envelope. That envelope, containing a draft of his win, 
was posted by me in your presence, on the afternoon of the 3rd of 
December. My father fastened it up himself, and the wax bore the 
impress of the only seal he ever uses. That envelope and its coo- 
tents were in the mail-bag which was cut open the same night by 
some man who took upon himself to personate me in the transactioa 
When Mr. Symes brought the will to be signed and witnessed, he 
brought the draft and envelope with him. It was then seen that 
the latter had been surreptitiously opened and afterwards fiutened up 
again. My father's seal was no longer there, but in its place was 
another, the impress on which was an exact counterpait of the 
design cut in the amethyst I held in my hand five minutes ago. 
Would you like to see the envelope ? " 

As Bruce's sentences feU slowly one by one on the ears of the 
wretched man standing opposite to him, the latter's &ce changed as it 
had never changed before. He cowered and shrank back a step or 
two, as though his cousin's words were so many blows which he had 
neidier power nor strength to resist He put out one hand gropingly 
as a blind man might have done, and his fingers coming in contact 
with the back of a chair, he gripped it firmly as though to keep him- 

The Amethyst Seal. 281 

self from falling. When Bruce ceased speaking, he saw through the 
dusk, not the face of Harold Dare, but a white death-like mask out 
of which looked two eyes, full of anguish and unutterable despair. 

For a few seconds the two men stood gazing at each other without 
a word. Then Bruce suddenly flung up his arms. " Oh, Harold ! 
Harold ! " he cried, in a voice choked with emotion, and turning, he 
covered his face with his hands and all the man within him was 
utterly broken. When he looked round, some minutes later, the 
door was open, and he was alone in the room. 

At the end of half an hour he was still sitting there in the dark, 
"revolving many memories." Then one of the servants brought him 
a note. " From Mr. Dare, sir," said the man. Bruce went into the 
next room where there was a lighted lamp, and opened it This is 
what he read : 

"\Vhen this reaches your hands I shall have left your father^s 
house, never to enter it again. For that of which I am guilty I have 
no excuse to offer beyond this, that it was done under the pressure of 
a temptation which you would be one of the last to understand or 
palliate. You, in your position, have never been assailed by such 
temptations, consequently they would be incomprehensible to you. 

" One favour you can do me ; it is the last I shall ever ask of you. 
My secret is yours, and yours alone : let it remain so. Facts could 
not be altered ; no good could be done by allowing it to pass your 
lips. Let your father still think kindly of me ; let Elinor Trenton 
never know me for the castaway I am. 

" And now, farewell. Bruce — dear Bruce ! — I shall never, never 
forget you I "H. D." 

He was gone, and from that day forward Wenlock Towers knew 
him no more. Once, about a year later, the two cousins encountered 
each other casuaUy in Oxford Street. Bruce stopped instinctively 
and held out his hand, but Harold deliberately averted his eyes and 
pushed on his way through the crowd, seeing and yet not willing 
to see. 

Captain Wenlock never revealed the secret that had come so 
strangely into his keeping. An excuse was readily found for his 
cousin's abrupt departure from the Hall. 

When Sir George died, two years afterwards, it was found that he 
had bequeathed his young kinsman a sum of eight thousand pounds. 
This amount was duly paid over to the legatee who, a little while 
later, threw up his situation under Government and quitted England 
with the avowed intention of settling down on a sheep farm among 
the far-away wilds of Australia, determined if possible by a new and 
honourable life to redeem the past. 



THE great difficulty in this essay is to know which to draw out of 
the many different threads that must necessarily be woven into 
the drapery of my subject The works of Dickens are so many-sided 
in their views of life, so limitless in their portraiture of character, so 
teeming with artistic and poetic ^mcies, so glistening with bright 
sparks of humour, that it is hard to decide where to begin, and 
'harder still to know where to end. 

It is a relief to fall back at once on the aim which actuated the 
.author in all he wrote, and that was — doing good to his fellow 
men. His aim was single, but the means by which he attained it 
were many and varied. We will take the broadest and most 

Each of his works presents in turn a vivid picture of some great 
social evil, some wrong shared by many, or some individual weak- 
ness ; and so correct are the outlines, so detailed and careful the 
filling in, so true a perspective does he give, that it is impossible for 
any average common sense not to detect his real meaning at once. 
They form an art gallery which we may wander through alone, and 
learn the great lessons of morality and humanity such as the Great 
Master, whom Charles Dickens humbly followed, loved to teach. 

The first great wrong he pictured was the Workhouse System, in 
*^ Oliver Twist." Most of us know the tale. Poverty and sufifering on 
one hand, as personified in little Oliver Twist and his wretched com- 
panions ; ignorance in authority and its natural development, as seen 
in the matron and the beadle. And then that Board of Guardians ! 
Many of them men with so exalted an idea of their own position, as 
guardians of such a philanthropic and beneficent institution, that they 
never noticed the wretched details of misery and wrong which they 
•swept with their very garments. 

We know that Dickens's vivid delineation of this great wrong was 
substantially correct at the time he drew it, and how iai the present 
improved state of affairs is due to his pen we can only surmise. 

His next book was " Nicholas Nickleby." The social evil here 
depicted was the cruelty and injustice secretly practised in some 
Yorkshire Schools, the picture of which was so lifelike that one 
schoolmaster wrote Dickens a threatening letter on account of the 
exposure. There is no doubt that the effect of this book was to do 
away with these schools altogether. 

There are many more personal lessons to be learnt fiom the 
characters in '' Nicholas Nickleby " : a lesson of benevolence from the 
Brothers Cheeryble, who, having worked their way upwards through 

The Tendency of Dickens's Works. 283 

great difficulties, were able to give a helpful, practical sympathy to others 
similarly circumstanced, as Nicholas was when he came to them — 
giving heartily and with pleasant words of the riches they recognised 
as God's gift There is something refreshing in the simple, earnest 
nature of these two brothers, which had remained unspoiled by 
any worldly prejudice or hardening during all their years of struggle 
and work. It is a picture of money honestly earned and rightly 
held, bringing with it an adequate reward. 

Ralph Nickleby, the uncle of Nicholas, and author of most of his 
troubles, is an instance on the other side of a man working for his 
wealth ^ harder and with far more heart-burnings than the Brothers 
Cheeryble; toiling for the mere gratification of getting money until it 
became a passion with him that warped his whole moral nature. He 
fed and increased the vein of meanness which he was bom with until 
it broke and saturated his whole being — completely swamping every 
hope of better things. The suicide's grave where he at last rested 
seemed but the natural result of such a life. 

The next work that appeared was " Bamaby Rudge," and, apart 
^om the wholesome example given in the cheery, unselfish nature of 
Mr. Varden, the bright-^ced locksmith, and the happy genial in- 
fluence he brought wherever he went, it seems to me that the whole 
book forms one succession of pictures of the inconsistencies of 
human nature. 

There was the solemn old landlord of the " Maypole," who had 
gained a reputation for the most profound depth of mind and 
weighty intellect, simply because his extraordinary dulness and 
stupidity prevented him from ever having two consecutive ideas in 
his head at one time — the whole country side regarding him as an 
oracle of wisdom who could speak if he would. 

Then, further on, in that graphic account of the Gordon Riots, 
there was the amiable, sensitive Lord George Gordon, who could not 
personally have hurt an insect, and yet became the direct cause of 
the fiercest riot and wildest confusion. And, in the midst of all this, 
when Nei^gate was set on fire and the gates forced open, the men 
who clamoured loudest to be saved from tiie flames were the three 
who were doomed to be hanged on the morrow. Then Dennis, the 
hangman himself: who took a revolting delight in enlarging on the 
details of his crafl, and went into ecstacies of enjoyment over the way 
he had worked off such numbers : when, through his treasonable 
connection with the plot, he was condemned to be hanged, he became 
the most miserable, abject wretch imaginable, begging and craving 
for a change in his sentence because he knew what it was. 

But we will turn to some one pleasanter: and that is Dolly Varden, 
the pretty coquettish daughter of the locksmith, who, through pure 
perverseness, refused with scorn the man she really cared for, and 
then, when her unkindness had driven him into tbe army and he 
returned disabled and a cripple with not a shilling to bless himself 

284 The Tendency of Dickens*s Works. 

with, met him more than half way and virtually made him an 

Then there is Mrs. Varden, whose good spirit always rose to the 
surface under circumstances that crushed other people's down, and 
yet who invariably graced any festive occasion with tears and sighs. 
And surely we most of us have come across a Mrs. Varden. Or 
rather haven't we ourselves often felt a most unreasonable desire to 
grumble at something or somebody just when things have squared 
themselves to our entire satisfaction and we have nothing left to wish 

The next work that appeared was " Martin Chuzzlewit," and this 
book seems to me, above all the rest, to be more general and more 
faithful in its teachings. 

We can none of us deny to selfishness the precedence amongst the 
cardinal sins, nor dispute the fact that it invariably defeats its own 
ends. In old Martin Chuzzlewit we have an instance of an 
evil by its own strength utterly spoiling the life of one who, without 
it, would have been a good man. Apart from this one weak spot in 
his character there is nothing mean or dishonourable about him. He 
awakes in us no feeling of contempt, but rather one of sorrow ; the 
sorrow we feel at the sight of beauty marred, of a good cause ruined, 
of great strength misplaced. 

The motive-power of his life was gratification of self ; and, seeing 
that he possessed a tolerably decent sort of self, his desires in them- 
selves were mainly right and would have brought no evil. But the 
mischief lay here : he was kind-hearted enough to feel pleasure at 
the sight of other people's happiness, but his motive in forwarding 
that happiness was more his own personal gratification than their 

His great wish was to see his ward and his nephew married, but 
because this good thing came about without his help, and he was 
robbed of the gratification of feeling that he individually had brought 
it about, he refused to give it his sanction. He was the cause to 
them of greater suffering than any amount of happiness that he might 
afterwards bestow could possibly atone for. Yet he really loved 
them both, but his own pain at witnessing their sorrow was entirely 
swallowed up by his selfishness. And the worst of it was, he was so 
blind to his fault, that it took nearly the whole of a life time to open 
his eyes. It was only the sight of his sins exaggerated in another — 
seeing himself as others saw him, only rather more so — ^that at length 
restored his moral vision. 

The nephew himself, young Martin, presents an exactly similar 
instance of a good man spoiled, and he was cured by seeing the un> 
selfishness of his servant, Mark Tapley. 

I need not ask whether these pictures are true to life. We some 
of us may know from ourselves, and all of us from people we have 
come across, that this respectable selfishness does exist ; that it often 

The Tendency of Dickens's Works. 285 

has no idea of its own name ; that it is very quick to detect itself in 
others, and to feel true contempt for itself; that nothing so soon 
rouses its real admiration as the sight of a nuln without it ; and that, 
when those of us who may claim it do get a view of our own wrong, 
it often works in us a repentance that needs no repenting of, as in the 
case of the two Chuzzlewits. 

And now I must just touch on one more character before I leave 
this book, and that is Tom Pinch, the man who must have come so 
near the heart of Dickens, for we feel its generous, healthy pulses as 
we read. Who besides Dickens could or would have drawn such a 
hero as Tom Pinch ? A man with no rare mental gifts, no personal 
beauty, no favourite of fortune, and yet a man around whom our best 
thoughts love to linger even though they call up self-reproach. A 
inan whose greatness simply meant his goodness. A hero in the 
sense of one who ruleth his spirit rather than one who taketh a city. 
Single-heartedness, unselfishness, steadfastness of purpose place Tom 
Pinch on as high a moral platform as any hero of fiction ; and yet so 
great was the simplicity of words and manners which accompanied 
these gifts, so ordinary and unremarkable the circumstances which 
developed them, that we are unavoidably led to see how perfectly 
natural such Christian graces might become to our own every-day 

The next book was "Dombey and Son," and the leading passion here 
portrayed is pride. 

Mr. Dombey is a stem, hard man, immovable and impenetrable as 
some dark, towering, granite rock, impervious to all outside in- 
fluences, except such as touched his pride ; pride of his wealth, his 
position, his family name, and all these things centred in his little 
motherless son, Paul, who was to perpetuate the great name of 
Dombey. All the care that wealth and thought could procure was 
lavished on the boy in his infancy. Then, before he had quite left 
that period, his intellect was taken in hand to be developed and 
expanded when it had as yet barely shown itself, and, of course, the 
natural consequence followed. The frail little sapling of the great 
Dombey tree drooped and died ; the proud man had to bow his will 
to God's over-ruling power; and the idol at whose shrine he had 
sacrificed all the higher and better capabilities of his soul was brought 
to the ground. It was only after many long years of bitterness and 
obstinacy of spirit that he was at length brought to the knowledge 
that his extremity had been God's opportunity of doing him good 
and not evil. 

We will pass over " David Copperfield," which contains so much of 
the author's personal experience, and just touch on " Little Dorrit" 

The name gives you the key-note of the book. It is one long ser- 
mon on the beauty of unselfishness, practically shown in the life of the 
heroine. It is by no means one of his best books, and yet Dickens 
•seems to me to have draped " Little Dorrit " in his most beautiful gar- 

286 The Tendency of Dickens's Works. 

ment, and to have lingered lovingly over his work, giving perfect 
touches here and there. 

Her intense and oftenest unappreciated love for her father ; the 
tender veil with which she covered all his weakness and his wrong, 
even from herself when possible ; the way in which her whole thought 
and happiness were wrapped up in the lives of others ; the heroism of 
which her keenly sensitive soul was capable when the interests of those 
she loved were at stake : all these things seem at first to make Little 
Dorrit more a grand impossibility than a living reality. Such pure 
unselfishness could hardly have existed in an atmosphere of mere 
morality ; but Dickens gives us one glimpse of a higher than a moral 
power in her life which precludes impossibilities. 

The other books of Dickens must be passed over with a bare men- 
tion. There is " Bleak House," with its warnings against Chancer}', 
and its telling examples of this great evil, most of them taken from 
life. " Hard Times," showing the miserable consequences of educat 
ing the head and neglecting to improve the heart Then there were 
the different " Christmas Tales," which carried their messages of good- 
will towards men to so many hearths, warming the hearts of the 
readers with such true Christmas cheer. 

I have been wondering what little bit out of all these books I should 
give you, to show how simply and naturally Dickens brings us face to 
face with his characters, and makes us understand and sympathise 
with their joys and griefs however far apart their circumstances and 
our own may be. 

There is the end of old Betty Higden, the poor, proud, independent- 
spirited old woman, whose life-long horror had been the parish, or 
parish help in any form, and who at last was pursued even to death 
by this same phantom. The following extract is taken from the end 
of her hard life. The money which is to pay for her burial is stitched 
in her dress, and her one great hope is to wander on alone until death 
has for ever closed all workhouses against her. 

"Old Betty Higden Cared upon her pilgrimage as many ruggedly honest 
creatures, women and men, fare on their toiling way along the roads of life. 
Patiently to earn a spare bare living, and quietly to die untouched by work- 
house hands — this was her highest sublunary hope. 

** The weather had been hard, and the roads had been bad, and her spin't 
was up. Faithful soul ! When she had spoken to the secretary of ' that dead- 
ness that steals over me at times,' her fortitude had made too little of it. 
Oftener, and ever oftener, it came stealing over her ; darker, and ever darker, 
like the shadow of advancing death. That the shadow should be deep as it 
came on, like the shadow of an actual presence, was in accordance with the 
laws of the physical world, for all the light that shone on Betty Higden by 
beyond death. 

" The poor old creature had taken the upward course of the River Thames 
as her general track ; it was the track in which her last home lay, and of which 
she last had local love and knowledge. She had sold, and knitted and sokl, 
and gone on. 

The Tendency of Dickens's Works. 287 

" In the pleasant towns about, her figure came to be quite well known for 
some short weeks, and then again passed on. But the old abhorrence grew 
stronger on her as she grew weaker, and it found more sustaining food than 
she did in her wanderings. 

" Sometimes she would light upon a poor, decent person, like herself, going 
afoot on a pilgrimage of many weary miles to see some worn-out relative or 
friend who had been charitably clutched off to a great, blank, barren Union 
House, far from the old home. Sometimes she would hear read out of a news- 
paper, how the Registrar-General cast up the units that had within the last 
week died of want and exposure to the weather, for which that recording 
angel seemed to have a regular fixed place in his sum, as if they were its half- 

"All such things she would hear discussed, and from all such things she 
would fly with the wings of raging despair. This is not to be received as a 
figure of speech. Old Betty Higden, however tired, however footsore, would 
start up and be driven away by her awakened horror of falling into the hands 
of charity. 

" It is a remarkable Christian improvement to have made a pursuing fury of 
the good Samaritan, but it was so in this case, and it is a type of many." 

Two incidents united to intensify the old unreasoning abhorrence : 
these I must condense. The dead faintness came o\«r her in a 
market-place, and when consciousness returned some women were 
supporting her. She was too weak to stand, until some man in the 
crowd proposed the Union, and then her fading energies came back 
and she would press on. Then again, at the side of a canal the dead- 
ness returned, and when she was recovered she left her few loose coins 
with the man in the lock-house to pay him for not delivering her over 
to the authorities. 

Now to go on with the text. 


"She was gone out of the lock-house as soon as he gave her permission, 
and her tottering steps were on the road again. But, afraid to go back and 
afraid to go forward, she struck off by side ways among which she got be- 
wildered and lost. That night she took refuge from the Samaritan, in his latest 
accredited form, under a farmer's rick. The morning found her afoot again, 
but fast declining as to the clearness of her thoughts, though not as to the 
steadiness of her purpose. Comprehending that her strength was quitting her, 
and that the struggle of her life was almost ended, she could neither reason out 
the means of getting back to her protectors, nor even form the idea. 

" The overmastering dread, and the proud stubborn resolution it engendered 
in her to die undegraded, were the two distinct impressions left in her failing 
mind. Supported only by a sense that she was bent on conquering in her life- 
long fight, she went on. 

^ The time was come, now. when the wants of this little life were passing 
from her. She could not have swallowed food, though a table had been spread 
for her in the next field. The day was cold and wet, but she scarcely knew it. 
She crept on, poor soul, like a criminal afraid of being taken, and felt little be- 
yond the terror of falling down while it was yet daylight, and being found alive. 
She had no fear that she would live through another night. Sewn in the breast 
of her gown, the money to pay for her burial was still intact. If she could wear 
through the day, and then lie down to die under cover of the darkness, she 

288 The Tendency of Dickens^s Works. 

would die independent If she were captured previously the money would be 
taken from her. As a pauper she had no right to it, and she would be canied 
to the workhouse; So, keeping to by-ways, and shunning human approach, this 
troublesome old woman hid herself, and fared on all through the dreary day. 

" Yet so unlike was she to vagrant hiders in general, that sometimes, as the 
day advanced, there was a bright fire in her eyes, and a quicker beating at her 
feeble heart, as though she said exultingly, ' The Lord will see me through it' 
Faring on and hiding, hiding and faring on, the poor harmless creature, as 
though she were a murderess and the whole country were up after her, wore 
out the day and gained the night. ' Water, meadows, and such like/ she had 
sometimes murmured in the day's pilgrimage, when she had raised her head 
and taken note of the real objects about her. 

" There now arose in the darkness a great building, full of lighted windov-s. 
Between her and the building lay a piece of water in which the lighted windows 
were reflected, and on its nearest max^n was a plantation of trees. ' I humbly 
thank the Power and the Glory,' said Betty Higden, holding up her withered 
hands^ ' that I have come to my journey's end.' She crept among the trees to 
the trunk of a tree, whence she could see beyond some intervening trees and 
branches the lighted windows. She placed her orderly little basket at her side, 
and sank upon the ground, supporting herself against the tree. It brought to her 
mind the foot of the Cross, and she committed herself to Him who died upon it 

" Her strength held out to enable her to arrange the letter in her breast, so 
that it could be seen that she had a paper there. It had held out for this, and it 
departed when this was done. * I am safe here,' was her last benumbed thought 
* When I am found dead at the foot of the Cross, it will be by some of my own 
sort ; some of the workpeople who work among the lights yonder. I cannot see 
the lighted windows now, but they are there. I am thankful for all.' .... 
The darkness gone, and a face bending down. It is as the face of a woman 
shaded by a quantity of rich dark hair. It is the earnest face of a woman who 
is young and handsome. But all is over with her on earth, and this most be 
an angel. * Have I been long dead ? * 

*" I don't understand what you say. Let me wet your lips again.* 
' Am I not dead ? ' 

" * I cannot understand what you say. Your voice is so low and broken that 
I cannot hear you. Do you hear me ? ' 

" • Yes.' 

" ' Do you mean yes ? ' 


** * I was coming from my work just now, along the path outside, and I heard 
a groan, and found you lying here.' 

•* • What work, deary ? ' 

" * Did you ask what work ? At the paper-mill.* 

"'Where is it?' 

" ' Your £ace is turned up to the sky, and you can't see it. Dare I lift yon ? * 

"•Not yet* 

" ' Not even lift your head to get it on my arm ? I will do it by very gentle 
degrees. You shall hardly feel it' 

" • Not yet. The paper. The letter. ' 

" * This paper in your breast ? ' 

"* Bless ye! ' 

" * Let me wet your lips again. Am I to open it ? To read it ? ' 


*' She reads it with surprise, and looks down with a new expression and afl 

The Tendency of Dickens*s Works. 289 

added interest on the motionless face she kneels beside. * I know these names. 
I have heard them often.' 
" ' WiU you send it. my dear ? ' 

" ' I caxmot understand yon. Let me wet your lips again and your forehead. 
There. Oh, poor thing, poor thing ! ' 

" These words through her fast-dropping tears. ' What was it that you asked 
me ? Wait till I bring my ear quite close.* 

" • Will you send it, my dear ? ' 

•• • Will I send it to the writers ? Is that your wish ? Yes, certainly/ 

" ' You'll not give it up to anyone but them ? ' 

" ' No.* 

'"As you must grow old in time, and come to your dying hour, my dear, 
yon'U not give it up to anyone but them ? ' 

" ' No, most solemnly.' 

" ' Never to the parish I ' with a convulsed struggle. 

** ' No, most solemnly.' 

" ' Nor let the parish touch me, nor yet so much as look at me ! ' with another 

"'No. faithfully.' 

" A look of thankfulness and triumph lights the worn old face. The eyes 
which have been darkly fixed upon the sky turn with meaning in them towards 
the compassionate face from which the tears are dropping, and a smile is on 
the aged lips as they ask : 

" * What is your name, my dear ? ' 

" ' My name is Lizzie Hexam.' 

"'I must be sore disfigured. Are you afraid to kiss me ? ' 

'*The answer is the ready pressure of her lips upon the cold but smiling 

" Bless ye ! Now lift me, my love.' 

" Lizzie Hexam very slowly raised the weather-stained, grey head, and lifted 
her as high as Heaven." 

There are many other good points in Dickens's writings which 
might be enlarged upon, such as their purity and healthy-mindedness, 
the invariable triumph of good over evil, but I should like to touch 
upon one or two general objections which have been made to them. 
First their seeming exaggeration. 

Now this exaggeration does not lie in his artistic fancies; his 
descriptive pieces are true and lifelike as any painted picture. It 
doesn't lie in his broad effects. We cannot feel — ^looking at his 
books as a whole — that the great wrongs, with their influences, which 
he delineated, have been exaggerated. It is when he comes to indi- 
vidual sketches that the fault is found. We have, as I said before, 
correct outlines, faultless perspective, with sometimes, what at first 
looks like deep and rather extra colouring. But I think it is a ques- 
tion as to whether these pictures would have caught the eye of the 
nation and held it, as they did, if the colours had been toned down 
and etherealised-off into a hazy mysticism. There are very few 
nations whose reading class, taken as a whole, would comprise a 
literaiy majority. Dickens was essentially a writer for the people : 


290 The Tendency of Dickens's Works. 

for that class of whose cause he was the lifelong advocate : and though 
the intellectual triumphs of his works won for him many laurels from 
the higher classes, yet he never arranged his plots or moulded his 
characters to impress a noble fancy or beguile an aristocratic leisure. 
He wrote for the child-mind of the nation ; and as in children's picture- 
books the lamb must have a great deal of wool and the fox a very 
long tail to convince them at once this is a lamb and that is a fox, so 
Mr. Pecksniff was made the impersonation of nothing but meanness 
and selfishness, Harold Skimpole was an utter drone, and Jonas 
Chuzzlewit had no sedeeming feature. 

I have tried to say this as a reason for what is generally accepted 
as exaggeration in Dickens. I myself do not see much which deserves 
that name. The next objection, and one I cannot altogether answer, 
is Dickens's graphic sketches of religious hypocrisy. His Chadband 
and Stiggins have touched not only the susceptible self-righteousness 
of men with whom they might very distantly have shaken hands, but the 
better feelings of others, who think that something like mockery was 
intended of what they justly hold in deepest reverence. No one can 
for a moment believe that Charles Dickens ever intended to be irrev- 
erent, or had the remotest thought of casting the shadow of a slur 
on the religion which actuated him all through life, and wholly 
possessed him during the later years. He hated, with a whole-souled, 
righteous hatred, hypocrisy in any form in connection with anything; 
and the more injurious he thought its effect the greater was his abhor- 
rence of it, the more vivid his delineation, the more extreme his carica- 

I think the following letter, written to his son when he was leaving 
for Australia, will give a true idea of his feeling on this subject : 

" I write this note to-day because your going away is much upon 
my mind, and because I want you to have a few parting words firom 
me to think of now and then at quiet times. I need not tell you 
that I love you dearly, and am very sorry in my heart to part with yea. 
But this life is half made up of partings, and these pains must be 
borne. It is my comfort and sincere conviction that you are going 
to try the life for which you are best fitted. What you have always 
wanted until now has been a set, steady, constant purpose. I there* 
fore exhort you to persevere in a thorough determination to do n^t- 
ever you have to do as well as you can do it. Never take a mean 
advantage of anyone in any transaction, and never be hard upon peo- 
ple who are in your power. Try and do to others as you would have 
them do to you, and do not be discouraged if they fail sometimes. It is 
much better for you that they should fail in obeying the greatest rules 
laid down by our Saviour than that you should. I put a New 
Testament among your books for the very same reasons, and with the 
very same hopes, that made me write an easy account of it for you 
when you were a little child ; because it is the best book that ever was 
or will be known in the world, and -because it teaches you the best 

The Tendency of Dickens's Works. 291 

lessons by which any human creature, who tries to be truthful and 
faithful to duty, can possibly be guided. As your brothers have gone 
away, one by one, I have written to each such words as I am now 
writing to you, and have entreated them all to guide themselves by 
this book, putting aside the interpretations and inventions of men. 
You will remember that at home you have never been harrassed about 
religious observances or mere formalities. I have always been anxious 
not to weary my children with such things before they are old enough 
to forai opinions respecting them. You will, therefore, understand the 
better that I now most solenmly impress upon you the truth and 
beauty of the Christian religion as it came from Christ Himself, and 
the impossibility of your going far wrong if you humbly and heartily 
respect it 
"Only one thing more on this head. 

" The more we are in earnest as to feeling it, the less we are dis- 
posed to hold forth about it Never abandon the wholesome practice 
of saying your own private prayers, night and morning. I have 
never abandoned it myself, and I know the comfort of it" 

They who most intimately knew Dickens say that every word there 
is written from his heart, and is radiant with the truth of his nature. 
Again, in answer to a letter from a clergyman, he says : " I beg 
to thank you for your letter. There cannot be many men, I believe, 
who have a more humble veneration for the New Testament, or a 
more profound conviction of its all-sufficiency, than I have. If 
I am ever (as you tell me I am) mistaken on this subject, it is because 
I discountenance all obtrusive professions of, and tradings in, religion, 
as one of the main causes why real Christianity has been retarded in 
this world, and because my observation of life induces me to hold in 
unspeakable dread and horror those unseemly squabbles about the 
litter which drive the spirit out of hundreds of thousands.'' Then 
again, when a reader of ''Edwin Drood " had accused him of irreverendy 
quoting a line of Scripture, he says, denying the charge : " I am truly 
shocked that any reader could make the mistake. I have always 
striven in my writings to express veneration for the life and lessons of 
our Saviour, because I feel it But I have never made proclamation 
of this from the housetops." At the end of his last will and testament 
he says : " I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord 
and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and I exhort my dear children humbly to 
tiy to guide themselves by the teachings of the New Testament in its 
broad spirit, and to put no faith in any man's narrow construction of 
its letter here and there." 

Now all this, though it may not have proved Dickens to have 
thought as the majority here may think, must prove him to be actuated 
by good and pure motives. In conclusion I will give the words of Dean 
Stanley, spoken after Dickens's death, in Westminster Abbey. '* He 
whom we mourn was the friend of mankind, a philanthropist in the 
true sense, the friend of youth, the friend of the poor, the enem y o 

292 The Tefuiency of Dickens's Works. 

every form of meanness and oppression. I am not going to attempt 
to draw a portrait of him. Men of genius are different from what we 
suppose them to be. They have greater pleasures and pains, greater 
affections and greater temptations than the generality of mankind, and 
they can never be altogether understood by their feUow-men. But we 
feel that a light has gone out, and the world is dark to us, when they 
depart. He whose loss we now mourn occupied a greater space than 
any other writer in the minds of Englishmen during the last thirty- 
three years. We read him, talked about him, acted him, we laughed 
with him, we were roused by him to a consciousness of the misery of 
others, and to a pathetic interest in human life. Works of fiction, 
indirectly, are the great instructors of this world ; and we can hardly 
exaggerate the debt of gratitude which is due to a writer who has led us 
to sympathise with those good, true, sincere, honest English characters 
of ordinary life, and to laugh at the egotism, the hypocrisy, the felse 
respectability of rehgious professors and others. To anodier great 
humourist who lies in this church the words have been applied, that 
his death eclipsed the gaiety of nations. But of him who has recently 
been taken, I would rather say that no one was ever so much beIo\ed 
or so much mourned." A. D. 


Oh thou to whom it hath been giv'n to know 
All things which chiefly long'd to know the wise, 
Who know'st of Love far more than mothers' eyes 

Revealed to us in childhood long ago. 

Say ! what is that which we call Life below, 

Which fades as clouds fade from the summer skies. 
The while we wonder what beyond them lies ? 

And is that Joy for which we struggle so ? 

Thou, who no more requirest ears to hear. 
Nor eyes to see, nor tongue to speak, oh, say 

How went it with thee ? Was the journey drear ? 
And were there tracks to guide thee on thy way 

To Wisdom ? Tell us : art thou far or near, 
Thou little child who diedst yesterday ? 

Lena Milmak. 




ON a July evening, when the last flush of rose-colour had passed 
away and left a still opaline clearness above the horizon, two 
friends sat on a rough seat beneath a group of lime trees. 

They were not lovers ; far from it ; yet Patience Fothergil and John 
Burton had been lovers in a dead and buried past, and the Patience, 
sitting there with silver threads in her hair and a few wrinkles about 
eyes and mouth, was no more like the bright-haired, blossom-faced 
girl of twenty years ago, than was the anxious-looking, hard-featured 
solicitor, to the eager youth, in whose blue eyes hope had shone clear, 
as he £iced the world, soul and body erect. His head was bowed 
thoughtfully enough now, and care had bent him towards the earth. 

I, Patience, had not blamed him in the after years ; nay, perhaps 
had learned to be glad of it; but I must confess that, at the 
time, it hurt me sorely when John told me that I was too strong- 
minded for him, that his ideal was now a soft, feminine woman, glad 
to lean meekly on her husband, and without thought beyond her 
home. Then he quoted some dreadful lines from Milton. We had 
been quarrelling, and I said : 
" That wiU do, John ; our lives lie apart from this moment." 
He was startled ; had not supposed me so ready to take him at his 
'word ; perhaps had thought to pare me down to his ideal, save the 
mark I But no entreaties could bring us together again ; that speech 
of his had killed my love for him as effectually as if he had given me 
a blow. 

My cousin Margery is his wife now — ^soft and feminine, and unde- 
cided as Milton's Eve, and as aggravating as that lady must have been 
when she reached middle age. I am sorry to say that her eight boys 
have much more of Cain than of Abel in their composition. Their 
father is much from home and their mother is weak ; therefore they 
are much more obnoxious than men in miniature generally are. I 
do not say it gladly, I only state a fact 

When Margery came to me, six months after John and I had parted, 
and told me, blushing and smiling, that she was engaged to him, I 
-congratulated her most sincerely. 

We had kept up a constant correspondence after their marriage and 
•departure for Trinidad, where John had an appointment ; but we had 
never met again till this summer, when John had settled down 
near Shrubton, and bought a pretty house with nine or ten acres of 
ground, including the walled garden in which we were sitUng, with no 
more romance in either of us than there was in the green peaches and 
apricots nailed to the south wall. 

294 Sabrina. 

" So you return to Paris at the end of next month, Patience ? I 
wish I could persuade you to remain with us/' 

I thought of my young cousins and stifled that hope promptly, not 
having the smallest rudiment of missionary feeling towards those young 

'* No, thank you, John. My income is small, as you know, and I 
eke it out by giving lessons." 

" But we could arrange about that The boys are sadly in want of 
a firm hand over them, and I am so much from home." 

As he spoke a series of wild whoops filled the air, and six boys of 
various sizes rushed into the garden, dragging with them a yoimg girl 
They were now talking at the highest pitch of their by no means 
musical voices, and that was a very lofty altitude indeed. " Now, 
then, will you tell us what Cousin Miles was saying to you ? You 
shall tell us, you know " This from a tall lad of fourteen. 

" Yes, indeed ! Nurse says you are nothing but a dependent,** 
shrieked a small boy in knickerbockers ; and so on, ad libitum, I 
could hear no reply from the girl, the uproar was too great. 

" You have my final answer, John," I said. " Your dear boys are 
too much for my nerves." 

" So they are for Margery's." 

I should perhaps have spoken somewhat unwisely as to the neces- 
sity of reclining upon the couches we arrange for ourselves, but John 
sprang up and went towards the unruly crew, which fled at his approach 
like a covey of partridges. He did not return, and I could hear his 
voice in the house issuing orders that every boy should go to bed at 

The girl, left alone in the gathering darkness, came slowly along the 
path between the roses and seringa bushes. She was sobb'ng with a 
weary, half-exhausted sound, like a child. I sat quite stiU, holding my 
breath till she came close to me ; then I called her. 

« Sabrina 1 " 

She started violently. " Nervous," I said to myselfl " I wish to 
speak to you, my dear," I added aloud. 

She sat down beside me, silent for a while, tapping her foot rest- 
lessly on a clump of hen and chicken daisies : then she spoke. 

" You heard those boys. Miss Fothergil ? It is so hard to be 
parient ! " 

" Yes, my dear. But who is Cousin Miles ? " 

I could not see her face in the darkness, but she answered in a 
steady voice: "A distant cousin of Mamma's and Unde John's. 
He was so good to us when she was dying ; and we were so poor 
before Uncle John returned. He has just come here now." 

I had guessed a love affair, but she spoke so simply that I changed 
my idea at once ; of course he was an elderly cousin. 

" Those boys ought not to behave so," I said. 

" You are Aunt Margery's cousin, and I will not say any more 

Sabrina. 295 

about them," returned Sabrina. " I should say too much perhaps, 
for I have eaten the apple that * True Thomas ' refused, I thirJc," with 
an unsteady little laugh. 

I will here confess that I had fallen in love, on the farther side of 
middle age, not with any masculine person, but with Sabrina Grace. 
I shall never forget the first time I saw her. I was reading Mrs. 
Browning's poem, * Caterina to Camoens,' when Margery brought her 
to my room ; I had not seen her before, for she had been away on a 
visit I lifted my head from the line, * sweetest eyes were ever seen,* 
and contradicted Mrs. Browning mentally as I looked into those 
before me ; grey, centering into black, essence of sunlight and moon- 
light and all things ethereal. I loved them from that moment. Yes, 
she was lovely in spite of her sunburnt &ce; not with a regular 
loveliness, but with something beautifully imperfect 

It vexed me to see her worried by the boys, to hear their rude 
jests and taunts, and I thought out a plan which I now proposed to 
her: that she should come and live with me in Paris, and give lessons. 
She was delighted, for she was fond of me. 

" Do you really mean it ? Oh, how nice," and she clapped her 
hands. There was something childish about Sabrina, which I did 
not dislike. 

"Think well before you decide," I said. " It is a hard life. You 
must be out early and late, in all weathers." 

" But I am strong," she said. Then in a changed voice : " Aunt 
Margery will not like it" 
I knew that, but I promised to settle it with John. 
By this time the tide of darkness was full and the stars were 
scattered over the sky; so we walked slowly towards the house, a 
model on a small scale of an English country house, with its smooth 
lawn, from whicli the buttercups and daisies had been ruthlessly 
banished. It sloped down to a dimpling brook, which flowed with a 
hushed purr in the darkness. I thought of the waters of Shiloah, 
that go softly. Such meditations — indeed any meditations — ^were 
impossible during the day in that neighbourhood : for did not crooked 
pins dance in its waters, and dirt pies soil its clearness from mom 
till eve, while a troop of urchins sported like juvenile Satyrs on its 

The water slid along, and my thoughts flowed on through the years 
to come, wherein the girl by my side should be as a daughter to 
me, playing Ruth to my Naomi, with no interrupting Boaz, I 

Margery's voice cleft the silence like the thin edge of a wedge. 
" Patience, where are you ? Oh, here you are ! Will you come in to 
supper. Oh ! Sabrina, I didn't see you " — ^this in a tone of extreme 
displeasure. " What were the dear boys doing that their papa should 
send them to bed? " she added. 
I replied: "Your dear boys were behaving like savages, Margery. 

2g6 Sabrina. 

If they could feel the rein and the rod a little oftener, some lives 
might be more peaceful ! " Which outburst on my part might be rude, 
but was not unprovoked. My cousin burst into tears. How some 
women weep ! It is like the wringing of a wet knitted garment ; the 
dropping seems endless. 

" I am sure," she said between little gasps : for she is cushiony, as if 
she had swallowed gallons of feathers : " I am sure," she said, " it is 
very painful to think that all our relations have a prejudice against the 
boys. Better boys never existed. Even Sabrina is against them, and I 
thought she would be such a help to me. They only want gentleness." 

I thought of a scene I had witnessed only that morning in the 
schoolroom. Sabrina was sitting at a table trying to keep from 
crying, but with scarlet cheeks and quivering hps, holding down a 
boy on each side. At a smaller table a couple more had spilt the 
ink ; a third pair had brought in a paper box of butterflies, and were 
busy practising vivisection. The last set of boys were still in the 
chrysalis stage of nursery life, or doubtless they would have added 
their quota to the general misbehaviour. 

In the midst of the din, Margery looked in. '' Can't you manage 
with less noise, Sabrina ? — No, I will not have them complained of,^' 
and she closed the door and went down to the quiet, fiowerscented 
drawing-room to finish a sofa rug in soft wools. 

I had heard all this, and I came in from my room and boxed their 
ears all round, at the same time giving them my opinion of their 

I thought, I say, of this scene, and sooner than I should otherwise 
have done, I spoke my wish. " This child is looking ill ; let her 
come to Paris with me. I will give her food and house-room, and 
lessons to provide for the rest." 

" But John will not like his niece to give lessons." 

" In the name of goodness what is she doing in this house ? Those 
boys are wearing her out, body and souL" 

"But what shall I do with the boys? " 

I could have shaken the selfish little woman. 

"Send Jack, Bob, and Harry to school, and get a governess with 
some authority about her to teach the others." 

"Cousin Miles must be consulted," she said, as we went in 

Sabrina had slipped away at the beginning of our conversation. 
We had dined early, and supper was laid in the dining-room, the hang- 
ings and furniture of which were of a warm brown. The table was 
pretty enough with its white drapery, its lamps and flowers, and 
heaps of strawberries and cherries on green leaves, spiritualising, as it 
were, the grosser parts of the feast Margery has good taste ; I will 
say that in her fisivour. 

Leaning against the window at the farther end of the room was a 
young man, who turned as we entered. 

Sabrifia. 297 

" This is Cousin Miles," said Margery, by way of introduction ; and 
my heart sank. They have a bad habit in that family of alluding to 
unknown persons as if others knew all about them ; so I had been 
picturing to myself a relative — ^rich, elderly, and rotund — ^who took a 
latherly interest in Sabrina. The reality was a man of not more than 
seven-and-twenty, light-haired, yet with glowing black eyes, that seemed 
to penetrate the thoughts of the person they looked at He was clean 
shaven, except for a heavy moustache; there was a faint tinge of Bohe- 
mianism about him, though he was quiedy dressed in grey, like any 
other gentleman. He was an artist, and perhaps that accounted for it. 

Shrubton has some fine scenery in its neighbourhood, and our 
young artist had come to feed his growing &me by closer communion 
vith nature. He had taken lodgings in the town, so he was free to 
come and go as he liked. 

He did not talk much at first, nor did we. The stillness was grow- 
ing dreamy, when Miles spoke. 

"Well, Sabrina, will you sit to me? " 

He was evidently repeating a former request. She looked towards 
Margery, who frowned. 

" I will see what John says " (John had gone out), " but I thought 
you came to paint from nature." 

" Just so ; and here I find the best piece of nature for my pur- 

He was too much in earnest to mean a compliment. 

" You would not mind, Sabrina ? " and he turned to her with a 

" Of course you may paint her. Miles, after all your kindness — only 
there are the dear children's lessons."' 

He blushed and looked annoyed as he rose to go, but only 
remarked : '' Then, Sabrina, we shall begin to-morrow morning, if that 
will suit you," 

" Oh yes, Miles," she replied eagerly. 

" That's a dear girl," he said heartily. " John is sure to say yes." 
And bidding us good-night, he went, meditating on his picture without 
a thought as to the personality of his model, to my great relief. Per- 
haps it was selfish, but I did so want Sabrina. 


Miles came and went. He had been allowed the use of a large 
garret, and thither, when the spiders, who had lived in that gloomy 
domain till they thought it their own, had been expelled, he brought 
his easel and improvised a platform for his model. The windows 
were arranged for the light, and near one of them I sat and made pre- 
tence to work ; not that they needed looking after, but I liked to watch 
the picture and Sabrina. The subject was Dante Rossetti's " Blessed 

2g8 Sabrina. 

Sabrina stood on a platform, dressed in a long, straight robe of some 
shimmering white stuff, which Miles had given her; her long hair was- 
loose over her shoulders. 

She looked the poem, for she felt it, and the meaning grew upoa 
her till once or twice her tears fell. 

" Beautiful," cried Miles. " Sabrina, fancy yourself on the verge of 
heaven, and myself the fellow you are grieving for." 

In his enthusiasm he sometimes forgot that his model was mortal. 
I told him so one day. 

" Poor little girl," said he, penitently ; " do tell me when you are 
tired." But she never did: indeed she assured ine that the garret 
was a haven of rest after " those boys." 

One morning I looked up from my work and caught an expression 
on her face which startled me She was looking at the painter with 
a tender yearning in her eyes and lovely sorrowful lines round her 
mouth. Of this she was profoundly unconscious; so was he. A 
fragrance filled the gloom of the quiet place ; it came from the lilies 
on her arm. She had gathered them early, with the dew on them. 

At noon we paused and came down from artistic heights to 
luncheon, which had been brought to us at my request The rapt 
look passed from Sabrina's face. The artist saw the change, but the 
man did not perceiv^ the cause. 

" What a splendid actress you would make, Sabrina," said he, eyeing 
her critically. 

" What do you mean. Miles ? " 

" You transform yourself so completely ! You will make me 

She never thought that it would be her face and form that theworid 
would gaze at ; nor did he, for he 'lived but for his art, a goddess 
austere to so many, but to him kind as Dian to Endymion. As for 
Sabrina — ^well, it is no new thing ; the skiff of her soul was anchored 
against a shore dangerous but beautiful, in a land where *' it seems 
always afternoon," so mellow is the light, so soft the air. 

Sabrina was not yet fully grown to her womanhood, and perhaps it 
was just as well that Miles did not notice that he had disturbed the 
balance of her nature. So a veil hung between them : and I longed 
for the picture to be finished lest it should be torn away. 

I thought once that the revelation had come. Maigeiy had gone 
on a round of calls with John, and the picture being well on, we had 
taken a holiday and stolen out through the fields, where the great ox- 
eye daisies flung themselves against our knees, and so on to the river 
into which the brook flowed. Here we found a bower formed by 
trails of ivy, that hung Uke a curtain between wild cherry trees. 

The boys had happily been occupied with a rat hunt in the stables, 
so we were alone. Miles read us " The Stream's Secret." We read 
a good deal of Rossetti just then. 

Sabrina. 299 

I was sorry he chose that, for it was a voice to articulate what was 
to her as vague as the music of the reed before Pan blew into it. 

" The very ways where now we walk apart." 

He paused. Sabrina was looking into the river with wistful eyes 
and lips covered with her hand ; her breath deepened into a sigh. I 

hoped Miles would not look at her. If only a shower of leaves 

descended with a chorus of elfish laughter. 
" Here we are again ! Stolen a march on you. Ha, ha ! " 
Three of the boys had run on before us and hidden themselves in 
the trees. Miles sprang up and sent them away; they went grumbling, 
and we were once more at peace. But the spell was broken ; we read 
no more, but talked instead ; at least, Miles and I did. For the first, 
and as yet for the last time, I was glad to see and hear those boys. 


The picture, the bright summer weather, the cool gloom of our 
garret, the white lilies, John, Margery, and those boys, even Miles, had 
£ided into the background : for the fresh September days had brought 
Sabrina and myself to my doll's apartment in Paris. 

There are thousands of such tiny nests scattered through Paris, 
where newly-married couples, old maids and widows, may live and 
even sweeten life with many small pleasures. 

My house consisted of three rooms and a very small kitchen ; a 
kitchen in the bud, as it were, for it was a tight fit for two slender 

The three rooms opened into each other, the one in the centre 
being our sitting-room. This latter I had made into a gem of pretti* 
ness, for I could afford some small luxuries. The carpet was soft and 
green, to imitate moss ; the sofa and chairs were easy, meet for tired 
limbs ; the curtains were green, with a tracery of red-brown vine-leaves to 
match the walls. In the window was a stand of wild ferns, with a 
scarlet geranium in the midst, which filled the eye like a fiame amid 
the quietness of its surroundings. A wire basket hung above this, 
filled with smaller ferns and long trails of ivy, which were reflected in 
the mirror opposite. 

In the bedrooms we had Indian matting and soft rugs ; there were 
silk "edredons" on the beds, and writing tables with a plant on 

One half of the kitchen was filled by a tiled fireplace, in whose 
square holes we were adepts at lighting charcoal fires. We had a 
" femme de manage " who was' supposed to come and prepare our 
meals, but woe to the person who puts faith in a "femme de manage." 
So we often put on gloves and lighted our charcoal for our caf(§-au-lait. 
Our good concierge (an exception to the rule) would often bring our 
dinner from a neighbouring restaurant. 

300 Sabrina. 

It was not always pleasant weather, and in the depth of winter we 
often came home damp and tired. But there was the evening, with its 
cosy meal, and the lounge by the sparkling wood fire heaped on the 
hearth between the dogs ; the black coffee, best modem substitute for 
nectar, the last Tauchnitz volume, and the talk which often lasted into 
the small hours. 

Sometimes we went to the theatre ; sometimes we had little recep- 
tions, mostly of women, when we tried to keep the talk from getting 
narrow by mixing it with music and games. 

For a time I was perfectly happy, for Sabrina was joyous ; but it 
was only for a time. 

When the spring came she began to droop, and the doctor 
ordered change for both of us. So we put our lessons aside for a 
while and went to Braie, a tiny village near St. Germain, pleasantly 
embowered in apple and pear trees. 

Our lodging was in a farm-house, whence we could look down the 
green aisles of the forest On fine days we sat on the mossy, carpet 
beneath the trees, looking up through the swaying branches to a heaven 
whose blue was subdued by httle white clouds. But one April day 
dawned when the ground was covered with snow and the trees shivered 
in the icy wind. 

Before this Sabrina had been brighter and stronger ; but on this 
desolate day she resumed her mental solitude and took to reading 
Thomas k Kempis. In answer to my remonstrances she remarked : 
" I love no one now, not even you, dear ; my heart is dead ; only duty 
remains; that must be enough for me." 

" Your duty is to get well and amuse yourself," I retorted, glancing 
at the pile of really good novels, some of which had brought smiles 
to her lips during the past days. 

" Oh ! those books are frivolous," said she. " Let me read you 
some of this, Miss Patience." 

I assented, and she read on till she came to the eighth chapter : 
" ' Converse not much with young people and strangers .... Be not 
familiar with any woman, but in a general way commend all good 
women to God.' " 

I became cross. " What can one expect from an old monk but 
that he should despise women ? Depend upon it, my dear, it is best 
for men and women to meet, aye, and love each other. Take it for 
all in all, marriage is the noblest life, if you meet with the right person. 
Of course all hangs upon that if/ I diink it was better for Adam 
to fall with Eve, than to live on m Eden a hermit" 

" But is not renunciation always right ? " 

" For those who have a superfluity of anything to renounce. Now 
put away your very good book till you have done your share in 
renouncing the world, the flesh, and the devil, having bravely fought 
them all." 

Was it my speech which had brought life and colour to Sabrina's 

Sabrina. 301 

face, as Thomas h Kempis slipped from her lap and she passed from 
a nun into a woman? 


I LOOKED round involuntarily, and in the doorway stood Miles, with 
a mischievous smile on his sunburnt face. How very welcome he 
was, to be sure ! 

" Having fought them all," he repeated. " Now, I wonder who 
they can be ? Ah I I know : Margery's naughty boys." 

" No, I said, half vexed ; " the world, the flesh, and the devil — 
more terrible opponents even than those naughty boys." 

He laughed, and Sabrina, with her hand lingering in his, laughed 

I looked out of the window. One of those sudden changes which 
take place in April had come over the weather ; the greyness had passed 
into a mellow afternoon tint, a warm wind was melting the snow. 
Within, they two stood, with the air of people awakening from a dream. 

" Sabrina, sit down. She has been ill, Mr. Grace. Didn't Margery 
tell you ? She has corresponded with you, I know." Sabrina's face 
had lost its glow and grown pale again. 

" No ; Margery said nothing about it What has been the matter ? " 
said he, softly leaning towards her. 

" Only weakness, but it is nearly over now," with a long breath, as 
of one laying down a burden. 

Miles stayed, talking of the winter. We did not know that he had 
spent it in Egypt, at which he seemed vexed. We walked back part 
of the way to St. Germain with him, and in the middle of the long 
chestnut avenue, facing the chateau, we said goodbye. I shook hands 
with him and turned to go, but they lingered. 

Sabrina had in her hand a few violets, and he asked her for them. 
There are a few faults without which a woman cannot well get on ; 
one of these is coquetry. At this period Sabrina was absolutely lack- 
ing in it The stupid girl actually never caught the look with which 
he made his request, though I do not believe she saw the violets very 
distinctly. I perceived all this, however, out of the corner of 
my eye. 

" These ?" said she; " they are not very fresh ; I have been holding 
them in my hand ; but you may have them if you like," and she put a 
few leaves with them. 

As she gave them *to him, he touched her hands mth his lips, then 
with a look of pain I could not understand, he walked rapidly away. 
Sabrina fell into a fit of musing, as she walked beside me. She was 
again standing by that mysterious stream, whose ripples touched her 
very feet For some days after this I sat and watched her icy 
sweetness expand into that warm and fragrant blossom which we call 
by so many names. We read and we talked, but never once of Miles ; 
he was too near our thoughts for that 

302 Sabrina. 

He did not come to see us for a good while, and I, at least, was 
disappointed. There is nothing specially attractive to a young man 
in the society of an elderly female, so there might be no special 
inducement in me ; but he might have come, I thought, to see the 
rare beauty that he had evoked in my young companion. 

His absence told upon Sabrina. Elaine, you will remember, died 
because Launcelot had no heart to give her in return for hers ; but 
this girl, instead of dying, would become morose and ascetic, if her 
heart were left empty. I saw it every hour. She was constantly saying 
httle sharp things to me, then begging my pardon. 

On the sixth evening of this she sat by the window, peering out 
into the darkness of the forest, where die trees were sighing and 
moaning as if their old nymphs had returned, and were bewailing 
their old haunts, like Jephtha's daughter on the mountains of Gilead. 

"Child, for whom are you looking?" I could not help saying, 
though it was unkind of me. 

" For whom should I be looking ? " she said, crossly. 

" Oh, I was only joking." 

" There is nothing to joke about, and no one I care to see, and 
you know it ! " she added, with unnecessary vehemence, for she was 
literally aching with excitement Suddenly she burst out : " I wonder, 

Miss Patience " Then stopping as suddenly, she threw herself 

down beside me, and burst into bitter tears. I let her cry on ; she 
had been very naughty, and if she had been a child I should have 
scolded her. 

A movement near made me look up. There stood her cousin, 
gazing at her with a certain mixture of surprise and gladness, for 
which I could not account, but the cause of which was really, that the 
young woman beside me was by no means perfect ; indeed was at 
that moment manifestly a repentant sinner. He was like the rest of 
us, and preferred fellow-sinners to those persons who never do any 

" Have you been cross, little cousin ? " 

To be told she is cross is what no woman out of a " memoir " can 
endure, so Sabrina sprang up with flaming cheeks and flashing eyes. 

" I do so object to bad manners I It is usual to knock at a door." 

To this he answered gently that he had knocked three times, and 
thought that he heard an invitation to enter. 

" You are very welcome. Miles," I interposed. " We thought you 
would have come before." 

" Speak for yourself, dear," said Sabrina ; " he is welcome to stay 
away for ever, as far as I am concerned" 

Miles grew angry at this. 

" What has come to you ? Is this the gentle girl I have known so 

" Miles, be quiet," I implored. 

" There is no need," cried Sabrina, as she swept out of the rooia 

Sabrina, 303 

He looked ruefully after her ; the enemy had fled, but the victor felt 

" What shall I do ? " said he. " I did not mean to hurt her." 

" She behaved very badly to you — but " 

" But what ? " 

" I think she cares for you ; I am sure she has felt your absence all 
these days." 

I knew that I was treading on dangerous ground ; meddling, in 
fact Sabrina had not made a confidante of me ; I was only 
guessing by signs and tokens, and they might be wrong. As for him, 
I had only seen his looks. Added to this, I had a pretty shrewd 
guess as to where Sabrina was ; for the farmer's wife was entertaining 
some gossips in the kitchen; it was too wet to go out, and we had only 
two rooms. Consequently she must be in our bedroom, and the par- 
tition was so thin that anything above a whisper in the one room could 
not possibly be unheard in the other. After a silence, during which 
I had begun devoutly to wish that I had not interfered. Miles 
looked up, his countenance all aglow. The fiimes of the new wine 
of love had evidently reached his brain. I hastened to administer a 
draught of the cold water of uncertainty. " But I am not sure that I 
am right — I really do not know — she has not been strong lately." 

His fece fell 

" And you, Miles ? " I said. 

" I love her as I can never love again," he cried passionately ; 
" but I am afraid." 

His silence after this held one at least of his listeners in tension. 
What was it ? had he a wife already, and one of whom he was 
ashamed ? Had he done some wrong in the past ? What was it ? — * 
for I saw that he had something to disclose or confess. I was quite 
ready to listen. 

'* Look at this," said he, opening a parcel and displaying a small 
picture in the lamplight 

It was a half-length of an exquisitely beautiful girl, just passing 
from bud to flower. She was dressed in Eastern fashion, with 
a profusion of gauze about her, and the usual gold coins on her 
black hair and slender neck. The large eyes flooded the face 
with that sweetness, melting into melancholy, only to be seen 
in an Oriental countenance. No one could have looked on 
the original without yearning, no man without love of some sort 
Miles took up another rather larger canvas and showed it me. The 
same girl wrapped in soft drapery, that mingled with the flow of the 
Nile. The sdtemoon sun shone through a mesh of palm-trees, the 
sun of a land where he is lord of every tint and odour. 

I looked at him. " Miles," I said, " what does this mean ? How 
dare you come here to disturb her peace — ^you are married ? " 

" No, no," he cried, " not so bad as that" 

" Where is she ? " pointing to the picture. 

304 Sabrina. 

" Gone to her own place." 

" A harem ? " 

" She is dead/' he said, earnestly. " That is a sketch for a larger 

" And you come to ask us to share your grief? " 

" No," he cried. " How can you wrong me so ? Indeed, I ncTcr 
loved her. I will tell you all about it, if you will listen." 

" I am all attention," I replied ; and he began. 

" Four months ago we were at a place called Asyoot, on the Nile: 
a friend and I, that is to say. Considine is not a bad fellow, though 
he is only an amateur and daubs fearfully: we got on very well 
together. Asyoot is a diy dusty hole in the daytime, with white walls 
and deep shadows. In the sunset it appears like Paradise, though 
morally it is the very reverse. Considine fell into mischief and I 
went to help him out and got into trouble myself, seeing this girl 
among the dancers." 

" You fell in love with her ? " 

" No, indeed ; but she — ^well, she did with me, while I was painting 
her. Don't laugh, please." 

" I was not laughing I assure you." 

" Some one was." 

" No, no ; go on." 

*' I was horrified. She fell ill, and when she seemed dying I 
bought her." 

" Bought her ! " 

" Yes, it seemed the best thing to do. Her people were only too 
glad to be rid of her, and I took her to a convent which was not bx 
off, meaning to leave her there to be educated if she recovered. I 
did not want to marry her. When we returned from the cataracts 
she was really dying, of low fever they said. Well, she died." 

« What else ? " 

" After we had left her at the convent we went up the river. The 
whole land is asleep, and the spirit of the landscape lulled me into 
repose ; I was content to remember Zenobi ; the future was dim as a 
dream. I scarcely touched a brush." 

" Lotus-eating ? " 

" Yes. In this state I fell asleep one noon, when there was not a 
breath of air to stir the plumes of the palms, and the very crocodiles 
had hidden their ugly snouts. I dreamt that I was still on the boat 
but it was evening, and the air was full of that soft primrose light of 
which I longed to reproduce the transparent clearness. On the shore 
stood Zenobi, with kisses hovering on her lips as she bent towards me 
with outstretched hands. Far above in the blue was Sabrina, just as 
I had painted her in my picture. I cried to her across space, but 
she did not answer. I knew then that I loved her. The girl below 
faded away, and I awoke." 

" But what should you have done with Zenobi if she had lived ?^ 

Sahrina. 305 

" I should not have *knarried her. Before I speak to Sabrina, will 
you tell her this ? " 

" But your love is the child of a dream." 

" No," he returned passionately. " The dream only awoke me to a 
sen^ of the reality." 

^ I will send her to you and you shall tell her yourself." 

Of course I knew that Sabrina had heard every word. Perhaps, 
though — girls are so foolish — ^she would prefer the halting speech he 
would use towards her. So I went out into the passage and into 
our bedroom. There lay Sabrina, apparently fast asleep, with her 
hands folded under her hot cheek. I knew she was no more asleep 
than I was, but I did not dare to say anything ; Miles would be sure 
to hear. So I went back to him, and told him he could not see her. 
He was sadly disappointed. 

" I must go to England to-morrow about my pictures," he said. 
" Do not let her forget me. Miss Patience." And he wrung my hand. 


Forget him ! there was no fear of that I saw it in her eye, heard it 
in the broken modulations of her voice, and was alternately tormented 
and charmed by her April moods. Petulance combined with tender 
caresses, naughtiness mingled with humility. Of these I was the reci- 
pient, the scapegoat, a mere lay figure, as it were, to try her various 
humours upon. As before, she never spoke of Miles ; not even when 
we had returned to Paris, and Margery had taken rooms near us with 
three of the "dear boys," who attempted their old tyranny ; but that I 
promptly put down. Margery was curious about Miles ; she knew he 
had been in Paris, and had an inkling that he cared for Sabrina. 

"I am always afraid he will marry some penniless girl, and that means 
miin to a man like him ; so unpractical, you know, like all artists." 

This was said to Sabrina one evening when I was absent. It was 
petty of Margery, but weak women are apt to take small revenges. 

So the days went on, till Sabrina and I, having a holiday, stole 
away for a drive in the forest of St Germain, for once without Margery 
and the boys. We were in the early part of May ; the air was soft 
and balmy, the grass waved fresh that afternoon, stirred by the fingers of 
little vagrant breezes. The birds sang madrigals to the great green 
forest, all dappled with golden sunshine and shifting shadows. 

At St Germain, after leaving the railway station, we took one of 
the roomy ' fiacres ' and started for our drive, leaving care behind ; at 
least I can answer for mysel£ I think an irritating consciousness 
about Miles disturbed Sabrina's contentment, as we drove along the 
woodland paths, so narrow in some places that the branches brushed 
our &ces. Our destination was the " Couvent des Loges," in the 
heart of the forest ; not that we wished to visit the convent, but to 
gather lilies of the valley. In Paris the flower-women were selling 


3o6 Sabrina. 

them for a couple of sous the small bunch, but we wanted to find 
them in their native home, and they grew here scattered under the 
trees, acres on acres of them. We left our cab and gathered and ad- 
mired, while our coachman on the box read his " Petit Journal." 

I am not so young as I was, and the enthusiasm of youth departs 
with its vitality. So I soon grew tired, while Sabrina was still eager in 
her search for the white bells, coyly hidden beneath their green leaves. 
I sat down on a mossy stump at the foot of a great beech tree, the 
home of many a squirrel. My feet rested on sheaves of lilies, with 
the mould of last year's foliage lying about them. 

How frail ana gentle she looked, in her pale lavender dress, with 
ribbons of a shade that harmonised with the tones of her hair ! And 
how she harmonised with the afternoon, over which cool shadows were 
already creeping ! She had been talking and laughing merrily, but when 
her basket was full to the brim she threw herself at my feet, holding 
her face down to drink in the scent of her treasures. 

" My dear," I remarked, apropos of nothing, only I wanted to read 
a little more of her romance if I could : " My dear, which do you 
prefer? these lilies or the tall ones with which Miles painted you?" 

There was no answer to my remark, surely as innocent as the little 
birds overhead, or the flowers beneath our feet, but she turned upon 
me with scarlet cheeks. 

" Oh ! how could you tell him I cared for him ! Oh ! how could 
you ! Oh ! my heart is broken, and you have done it" 

All this in certainly heartbroken accents. 

" It will mend, child ; it will mend. Wait till you see him again.*'' 

" I wish never to see him again. I do so wish I had never seen 
him at all." 

" He came to ask you to marry him that night when you behaved* 
like a little savage." 

"Well, I shall never be his squaw. Aunt Margery told me that I 
should be a clog on him, and that he would marry me out of pity. I 
said only yesterday that I would never be his wife." 

We rose when Ae girl's sobs were quieted, picked up our baskets, 
and made for a charcoal-burner's hut to get some milk. 

Now in the old fairy tales, the prince always arrives in time to save 
the princess from some evil enchantment; so now our prince appeared 
through the trees, but let us hope that he generally met with a better 
reception than Sabrina gave Mites. I was not surprised to see him — 
he fitted in so well with the whole thing. He shook hands with me, 
then turned to her. She was busy With her mantle, and feigned not to 
see his hand. 

" How did you find us out ? " I-asked. 

" Easily ; you told your concierge Where you were going. My ca^ 
is at the cross, over yonder." 

" I am very glad to see you," I said; " Will you come with us and- 
get some milk ? " 

Sabrina. 307 

"No, thank you. But will Sabrina come to me here, after she has 
had her milk ? " 

She looked vexed for a moment, then said : *' I will stay now, and 
go for the milk after ; only be quick, Miles." And she waited while I 
went on. 

I sat in the charcoal-burner's hut, and drank milk and played with 
the black-eyed children in close white caps and wooden sabots, till the 
whole family must have been weary of me, but no Miles or Sabrina. 
At last I sallied forth. 

In the meantime this is what went on in the little dell among the 
flowers and young green bracken. At least it is what I put together 
from the hints and allusions I afterwards picked up, and I believe it 
is tolerably correct 

He did not ask her to marry him at once. He was, as I have said, 
a good young man, but he had his faults; and I reckoned it to him 
for a fault that he found it natural that she should love him, instead 
of doubting and trembling as a lover should. To be sure I had given 

him to understand that he was dear to her, but then And then he 

had a tinge of that phaiisaism which sits not ill on a very young man, 
but which Providence soon knocks out of him if he is worth anything. 
Here was a specimen of arrogance — the last time he ever indulged in 
it, I am happy to say. 

" Child, how could you refuse me before I asked you ? " 

It was cruel of him, and she burst into tears and shivered with 

" Aunt Margery " she began. 

'' Yes ; Aunt Margery told me you would not marry me if thete were 
no one else in the world." 

" I hate you, Miles ; I am ashamed of you," she flashed through 
her tears. " How could you say that ? I hate you. Miles." 

She was not going to p4ay beggar-maid to his king Cophetua, and 
she was quite right too. He said nothing, and she began to move 
silently away. Then after a pause, when her eyes were clear of the 
tears, she looked up at him as he walked beside her : there was a new 
look in his £u:e, a hungry yearning touched with fear. 

" What is it ? " said she, startled. 

He fell down on his knees before her, and catching her hands 
buried his face in them. She tried to withdraw them. 

" I never really loved you till this moment ! It is bitter, Sabrina ! 
Have pity on me." 

"What do you mean?" she asked, coldly. Poor soul ; she was 
trying to prevent her tears from dropping on the bowed head, and her 
hands from trembling against his lips. 

" You are right to hate me," he cried " I have hurt you, and 
have turned your love away when you were learning to care for me.* 

At this moment he looked up, and her look fell downward into his 
like a flower thrown into a clear pool. That cleansing humility which 

3o8 Sabrina. 

is part and parcel of love, nay its very essence, shone in his eyes ; joy 
also began to play in them. 

" I am not worthy, Sabrina. And yet " 

She could not turn her eyes away, she could not speak for a moment; 
then the words dropped down into his ear. 

" I love you. Miles," she whispered. Then by some occult law of 
gravitation her head bowed lower, their lips met, and the compact 
was settled for ever in one long " seal of love." 

When I met them they were walking slowly into the depths of the 
forest, a still delight in their faces, and I said : 

" The cab which brought us here must take us away from this en- 
chanted wood. You can take your garden of Eden with you ; in 
spirit at least, young people." 

"How can you be so ridiculous. Miss Patience?" This from 
Sabrina, but in accents that trembled with emotion. 

"Nay; you are the hundred-millionth Adam and Eve. But we 
really must return to Paris." 

" I believe you are as glad as we are, dear," said she, dinging to 
me as I gave diem my blessing. 

Most people think Miles's picture of Sabrina, as " Nymph of the 
Severn," a finer painting than the " Blessed Damosel," but I prefer 
the latter, perhaps because I saw it painted 

I see Miles and Sabrina often, but I miss my girl from my house. 
She is no longer my own, as I had hoped she would continue, though 
I rejoice at her happiness — " her full content as wife." 

Oh, elderly friend of the weaker sex ! whenever a young woman says 
to you, " Where thou goest, &c.," after the manner of Ruth, do not 
place implicit confidence in the declaration, for, ten chances to one, 
Boaz is waiting for her in some cornfield by the way ! 



By Anne Beale. 

TVyTOST of the ancient mansions of South Wales have their legends. 
^^^ Some of these relate to ghosts and fairies, others to romantic 
incidents marvellous as they. Before the steam-whistle shrieked 
amid the hills and vales, these traditions were religiously believed, 
not only by the illiterate and superstitious peasant, but by the more 
cultivated proprietor, and even in this nineteenth century many are 
loth to acknowledge them to be mere creations of distorted imagina- 

A lady, since dead, gave the writer several strange stories which 
may not be without interest for readers curious in such details. She 
was bom and died in one such old mansion, and herself put faith in 
the friends from whom she heard them, who in their turn believed in 
those who related them. Thus traditions descend from generation to 
generation, until we fail to eliminate the true from the false, the real 
from the ideal We can only " tell the tale as it was told to us," 
which was, after all, much what Homer must have done in his 
" Iliad " and " Odyssey." 

The following is not only certified but dated, and was received as 
"authorised" by the descendants of the heroine. 

In the year 1724 a daughter and heiress was bom to a Squire of 
high degree. But her birth cost the life of her mother. The chimes 
that had been set a-pealing in the old church tower as soon as the 
news spread that the infant drew breath, soon changed to the clang 
of the passing bell. All the villagers who were agape with delight 
one instant, cried " Lord have mercy on her soul " the next, and 
listened with silent awe as, minute by minute, eighteen solemn warn- 
ings fell from the iron tongue of the ruler of the belfry. " Gone I and 
not yet out of her teens ! " cried the people. " What will the Squire do 
without her ? " 

The Squire consoled himself. Scarcely had twelve months rolled 
away, when the joy-bells pealed forth again, and he brought a second 
bride to his castle, and a step-mother to his pretty baby, Ermentrade. 

Hitherto the child had been the sole joy of his heart, and the light 
of his lonely mansion ; now, a proud and haughty dame mled him 
and his dependents. The new wife looked with jealous eyes on the 
child of the old. " I will give to my lord a son who shall displace the 
puling infant," she said ; but no son came. 

For six weary years the stately lady's jealousy of the little Ermen- 
trade and longing for children of her own lasted ; but spite and hopie 

310 A Romantic Wedding. 

were equally vain. She alienated the child who would have loved 
her, and in punishment, God sent to her none of her own. Yet Ennen- 
trude flourished as a flower beneath the fostering care of her nurse. 
If she hid herself at the sound of her step-mother's voice, what 
mattered ? she was received in the sheltering arms of her feithfiil 
Betto, and consoled by toffee and sugar cakes. 

The Squire, her father, was self-indulgent, and troubled himself not 
about such trifling matters. He had a handsome wife, an heiress, 
and a wine cellar — ^what could he want more ? one child was enough 
for him, and his lady was careful not to display before him her 
antipathy for Ermentrude ; so no disquieting suspicions disturbed his 
frequent potations. Nevertheless, they were disturbed. An adversary 
even more fatal than his wine cup overpowered him, and that enemy 
was Death. 

The Squire died suddenly, and the child Ermentrude, at six years 
of age, was heiress of all his possessions. Save her dowry, the jealous 
wife had nothing. 

Little did Ermentrude realize her position. She scarcely under- 
stood the loss she had sustained in her father. All she knew was, 
that instead of her step-mother's cold salutations, she was clasped in 
the arms of a loving uncle, her own mother's brother, who was 
constituted her guardian. " What should she know of death ? ** She 
looked with terror on her father's white face and rigid form, and 
piteously asked him to speak to her ; she stood at her nursery window 
while the grand funeral procession wound through the park of which 
she was now mistress ; and she sobbed out her childish grief on her 
fond nurse's bosom. But no sympathetic word reached her ear from 
the haughty lady who remained apart in her solitary chamber. 

Scarcely was the father laid in the ancestral vault, before Ermentrude 
was told that a great change awaited her. She was to leave the castle 
and live with her uncle and guardian, the Squire of Plis Gwen, at his 
place some thirty miles away. When Mistress Betto said she would 
accompany her, the child clapped her hands with delight, for had not 
her uncle embraced her tenderly and vowed that he loved her for 
her mother's sake ? She paused not to consider whether he might 
prove a naughty uncle, like him of " The Babes in the Wood," or to 
enquire concerning his only son, who would inherit the castle if she 
were to die ; she only thought of his kisses and assurances of affec- 

Accordingly, preparations were made for her departure. All her 
childish toys were gathered together. A warm coat was put upon her 
Italian greyhound, a baize covering on her canary cage, and she was 
dressed in her sable hat and plume. At the last moment, her uncle 
took her to bid farewell to her father's widow. She found her in the 
profoundest of weeds, and shrank from the face, now imsoftened by 
fair curls, and the severe white cap that surmounted it. 

" You will remain here, madam, so long as you may please," said 

A Romantic Wedding. 311 

the uncle. " Ermentrude will live with us till her majority. Her 
property will accumulate. She will be the greatest heiress in 

" Doubtless you have your schemes, sir. You have an only son," 
replied the lady. 

" Yes, madam. I trust they may fancy one another," was the reply. 
" I shall hope to return here to complete the affairs when I have com- 
mitted Ermentrude to my sister's care." 

But the child understood nothing of this. She touched her step- 
mother's cold fingers, made her curtsey, and soon found herself in her 
own grand coach, drawn by four fine horses. Neither did she realize, 
as she left her ancestral home and drove through the fine park, that 
what she saw was hers. Her little hand was in her uncle's. Betto 
sat opposite ; Bo-peep, her dog, was in her lap, and her canary at her 
side. She was happy. She was welcomed to her new abode by her 
mother's only sister, a stately widow, who lived with her uncle, a 
widower. Husbands and wives seemed strangely and early separated 
in her family. She was introduced to her cousin, a boy a few years 
her senior, from whom she shrank, as never having been accustomed 
to children. He, also, eyed her askance, and the commencement of 
their proposed courtship was not favourable. Still, they were intended 
for one another, and their elders nodded and smiled at this shyness, 
and said it would soon wear off. Mistress Betto looked on, and thought 
the match suitable enough, though she had her ideas concerning an 
alliance between cousins. " But maybe this one is made in heaven," 
she soliloquized afterwards. 

The boy's name was Aubrey, and he soon became the slave of the 
imperious little maiden who shared his tasks and sports. He heard 
that she was to be his when they were old enough, together with her 
vast estates, and he was nothing loth. She, too, was made to under- 
stand that they were intended for one another. " Thou shalt not 
have me or my lands," she Was wont to say ; and to her nurse she 
would add : " In sooth Aubrey is a milksop, and I love him not. 
Besides, he is my cousin, and thou knowest, Betto, that I cannot 
marry one so near of kin." This, as she grew up to maidenhood. 
" It progresses well, sister," whispered her uncle, aside. 
" It is as it should be," replied Dame Dorothy, the aunt. 
They were a cold and diplomatic pair. But Aubrey was, as 
Ermentrude declared, a milksop. He was but a vain and silly youth, 
and not one to win the heart of a high-spirited girl, such as she. 

There was, however, a neighbouring knight who sometimes came 
to the Plis, whose secret suit sped better. Guardians, like love, are 
often blind, and the Squire bethought himself not that a maiden 
scarcely yet fifteen would be forward enough to fancy a man of one- 
and-twenty, or that his neighbour. Sir Tudor ap Griffith, would fall in 
love with a child. Yet so it was. 

" I am going to the castle to-morrow to see after thy property. 

312 A Romantic Wedding, 

Ermentrude," said the uncle, one morning. " I shall be absent two 
days. Aubrey will take care of thee and of Aunt Dorothy." 

'* I am fifteen, and can take care of myself, sir," replied the young 
lady, with a saucy curtsey. " Besides, it is I who must take care of 
Aubrey. He has not the spirit of a mouse." 

"Yes, child; thou hast the greater courage, as should be, seeing 
that when you two are wed, thine will be the larger inheritance." 

" And when is that to come to pass ? " asked Ermentrude, gravely. 

" When thou art grown to womanhood, I reckon, in a year or so, 
or maybe sooner," responded the uncle. 

Ermentrude made him a profound reverence as he stood before 
her, and a naughty little mou as he turned his back. Then she 
hastened to her nurse and bade her take holiday. 

" Thou shalt order Shon, the groom, to saddle my mare, and thou 
shalt ride behind him on my pillion to Castell Coch, and thou shalt 
take a note from me to Sir Tudor ap Griffith, and thou shalt await 
his answer," were the damsel's hasty orders. 

" To Castell Coch I It is over twenty good miles ! " cried Betto, 
uplifting her hands. 

" Ah ! but thou must do it, for thou knowest that I will never wed 
my cousin Aubrey, for he is a foolish fellow, and I love a man of 
mettle. Sir Tudor will order what is best, and thou must be quick- 
He told me what to do when uncle went from home, and thou art my 
only confidante." 

Ermentrude threw her arms round her nurse, who had never 
thwarted her ; and no sooner had the Squire departed, than Shon, 
groom, with Betto on a pillion at his back, was trotting off in the 
direction of Castell Coch. 

" I have given her a holiday, and may be she will not be back to- 
night," explained Ermentrude. 

" Thou takest too much upon thee, child," replied Dame Dorothy. 

" I am no longer a child, ma*am," returned Ermentrude, offended 

" We will be grand when we are of age to wed," put in Aubrey. 

Ermentrude passed a restless day. No Betto appeared. But she 
and Shon returned the following day and brought with them a 
missive from Sir Tudor Ap Griffith. 

"Meet me to-morrow morning at seven of the clock beneath 
Llewellen's Oak," it ran, and Ermentrude was in a mighty fluster at 
the prospect of so soon seeing her lover. 

" My bones ache with forty miles on horseback," pleaded Mistress 
Betto. " I can never be up and abroad so early." 

" Then I go alone," replied the imperious maiden. 

Little sleep visited her eyes that night, and she was astir with the 
song-birds at early dawn. She felt blithe as they, and would have 
sung as cheerily had she not feared to be heard. She aroused her 
nurse, who, despite her stiffened limbs, arose and did her bidding. 

Long ere the big clock struck seven, they were away to the woods. 

A Romantic Wedding. 313 

Never before was such a bright May morning. Ennentnide danced 
through blue bells and hyacinths and anemones — ^by hawthorn and 
cherry-blossom and fern-frond — ^beneath larch and oak and aspen. 
Earth was alight with dew drops through which the sunbeams pierced, 
and lights and shadows played at hide and seek in each forest glade. 
The birds warbled so lustily that the very sky and air seemed alive 
with melody, and all nature held jubilee to greet the glad child and 
her knightly lover. 

" How slow thou art, Betto. We shall not reach the oak in time," 
cried Ermentrude. 
" I am repenting of my ride of yesterday," answered the nurse. 
" Fie, Betto ! But I see him ! And he wears his gayest suit to meet 
me," laughed Ermentrude, clapping her hands and running forwards. 
"Nay, but a stranger is with him," she added, pausing and frowning. 
Beneath a gigantic oak stood a gallant youth, clad in the velvet and 
lace of the period. He advanced to meet her, and kneeling on the 
dewy sod, respectfully kissed her hand. 
" I have brought the priest and the ring," he said. 
"But what will my guardian say?" asked Ermentrude, charmed, 
yet terrified. 

"^Vhat matters it? Come quickly, and let us be married, or he 
will wed you to Aubrey." 

Betto began to remonstrate, but the youth led the scarcely reluctant 
maiden to Llewellen's Oak, where stood a priestly form in full 
canonicals, prayer book in hand 

" A fine church, truly, and a grand choir," laughed Ermentrude, as 
she set foot on the soft moss beneath the big oak, and heard the birds 
carolling in the huge branches. 

What would she know of matrimony ? She loved Sir Tudor with 
all her heart, and would obey him in all things ; so she stood with 
him, half amused, half frightened, before the priest, and the marriage 
service began. But she sobered as she listened, and would have 
stayed it half-way, had not her fiery bridegroom urged her on. Still, 
she smiled as he placed the ring on her finger, and wept a little when 
they knelt together to receive the benediction and exhortation of the 
facile priest. It was easier to get married in those days than these. 

But scarcely was the solemn service ended when she suddenly 
jumped up, exclaiming, " The bell I The bell ! " and without further 
ceremony took to her heels, followed by her faithful nurse. 

" By my troth it is a fine thing to be married," she exclaimed, as 
they reached the Plas just as the big breakfast bell ceased to inform 
the world that it was eight o'clock. 

" Where hast thou been, child ? Thy dress is disarranged and damp, 
thy hair dishevelled ? " said Aunt Dorothy. 

" To the woods to hear the birds sing," she replied, holding down 
her head, abashed 
Meanwhile Sir Tudor and his recreant parson had mounted their 

314 ^ Romantic Wedding. 

horses and ridden off, setting the bells of all the village churches a 
ringing as they went 

"For the marriage of Sir Tudor Ap Griffith with the beautiful 
Ermentrude of Castell Mawr," he explained, as he scattered gold 
pieces among bell ringers and sextons. 

And still the young bride thought within herself, " It is a fine thing 
to be married." 

But when her uncle returned at midday, she wondered if, after all, 
that golden circlet which she wore on her finger had quite transformed 
the world into paradise. 

" What means this, niece ? " he asked, severely. " The church bells 
are set agoing everywhere, and they teU me it is for the marriage of 
Sir Tudor Ap Griffith and my kinswoman, Ermentrude Traherne." 

" And so it is, uncle," upspoke the bride. " We were married this 

" Married, you young minx ! " cried her uncle, seizing her by 
'the arm and shaking her. "Who taught thee to tell lies to thy 

" They are not lies, for see the ring," she cried, bravely ; believing 
•that the sight of it would pacify her uncle. 

But he stamped with rage, and dragged the daantless maiden to her 
•chamber, calling her many naughty names as they went, and threaten- 
ing vengeance. 

" Thou mayst imprison, but thou canst not unmarry me," she said, 
•when he loosened his grasp. 

" I can and I will ! " he cried, leaving her to her reflections, as he 
locked her into her solitary chamber. Then he sought the trembling 
Betto, and turned her unceremoniously out of his house. Truly he 
was in a furious passion. And scarcely less furious ivas his son, 
Aubrey. He loved his cousin a little, and her broad acres more. So 
'he made common cause with his father, and they rode off to the 
notaries to see what could be done. 

Ermentrude had plenty of time for reflection. She remained in 
solitary state a whole weary week. No Aunt Dorothy ! No Betto 1 
Only her uncle, followed at meal times by her aunt's maid ; for although 
in durance, she was not doomed to bread and water. 

" Thou shalt be free so soon as thou promise to renounce him who 
has deceived thee into a sham marriage, and to take as thy affianced 
thy cousin Aubrey, to whom thou art betrothed." 

" I am not betrothed to Aubrey, and will not wed him," cried 
Ermentrude, bravely. 

" And I, as thy guardian, swear thou shalt not have that false Sir 
Tudor, who has wheedled thee forth to this sham bridal." 

" Heigh ho ! I would I were of age," sighed Ermentrude. 

But her courage did not flinch. She beguiled the time as best she 
might, with her pets, her embroidery, and her few books, reading with 
unusual persistence those of devotion. Especially did she peruse 

A Romantic Wedding. 315 

daily the marriage service, as set forth in the book of Common 
Prayer. This encouraged her to resistance, inasmuch as she believed 
she was lawfully wed. She even kept up her spirits by song, and her 
favourite ditty was the song of Lovelace to Althea. 

" Stone walls do not a prison make, 

Nor iron bars a cage ; 
Minds innocent and qniet take 

That for a hermitage. 
If I have freedom in my love, 

And in my soul am free, 
Angels alone, that soar above, 

Enjoy such liberty." 

She did not pause to reflect whether her mind was " innocent and 
quiet," but the verse consoled her. 

On the seventh morning from that of her woodland bridal, she was 
looking out of her window in, it must be confessed, melancholy mood. 
From her apartment she could see a vast expanse of country, for her 
uncle's house stood high. Many times a day, if not quite all day long, 
she had gazed on a certain turnpike road that wound through wood 
and mead down below, and had repeated aloud, as if to some invisible 
friend, the words of Blue Beard's imprisoned wife : " Sister Ann, 
Sister Ann, do you see anybody coming ? " But nobody had appeared 
save her cousin Aubrey. He managed to be always in sight ; but she 
took no heed of his signals and vagaries. 

On this seventh morning, however, she perceived a troop of twenty 
horsemen galloping furiously. In front was one who led by the bridle 
a milk-white steed, which was riderless. 

" It is ! It must be ! " she cried, breathlessly, gazing until the 
cavalcade was out of sight. 

Then she was conscious of a strange commotion in and without the 
house. She did not know that her uncle kept all his servants ready 
armed, or that he and Aubrey were also armed. But the twenty horse- 
men suddenly reappeared, tearing up the drive. She perceived that the 
white horse bore a lady's saddle, and that he who led the men was 
Sir Tudor Ap Griffith. Instantly she waved a white scarf towards 
him, and he kissed his hand in return. 

" What will be next ? " she ejaculated. 

What happened next she could not see ; but it was highly melo- 
dramatic. The twenty horsemen were met at the threshold of the 
Squire's door by twelve armed retainers. But Sir Tudor was worth 
them all. Jumping from his horse, he seized on the malicious uncle, 
presented a pistol at his throat, and exclaimed, " My bride, or your 
life ! " Such conduct, and the sight of the nineteen followers, cowed 
the domestics, and caused Aubrey to run away. Ermentrude was right. 
He was but a milksop indeed 1 Moreover, her uncle was compelled 
to deliver up the key. Betto unexpectedly appeared and led the 
gaUant spouse to his imprisoned bride. The nurse, it had been, 

3i6 A Romantic Wedding. 

who, being ignominiously expelled, had managed to communicate with 
Sir Tudor, and thus been the means of the present adventure. 

" I knew you would come," cried Ermentrude, clapping her hands 
as Sir Tudor entered. 

But it was not into his arms she threw herself, but into those of her 
faithful nurse, from whom she had never before been separated. Sir 
Tudor, however, soon enfolded her in his, with the words, " My wife ! 
my dear wife ! " and carried her off triumphantly. 

" Declare our marriage, parson," he added, as he hastened down 
the great staircase, followed by Betto. 

A smooth-faced priest, one of the furious riders, advanced towards 
the discomfited Squire, and announced that he had married them by 
" book and bell," under the greenwood tree. 

" Poltroons ! robbers ! villains all ! cried the Squire. " Aubrey, 
come, assert thyself! " But Aubrey was nowhere to be seen. 

" Good-bye, uncle ; good-bye. Aunt Dorothy. Thou wilt come after 
us, Betto," cried Ermentrude, when she was seated by her bridegroom 
on the white palfrey. 

And so, as the story goes, " They loved and they rode away.**^ 


The breeze refreshing, and the fragrance sweet. 
And flowering beauty of the laurel's shade,. 

My guiding star, and wearied life's retreat, 

Earth's devastating death in dust hath laid. 

As Phoebus darkened by his sister's veil. 

So doth all kindly light my soul forsake ; 

And death as death's sole antidote I hail. 

Such gloomy thoughts doth love within me wake. 

One short, sweet slumber, lady, thou hast slept, 
Then woke for ever 'mid those spirits blest ; 

Who, in the great Creator's bosom wrapt, 
Enjoy their long-sought, everlasting rest. 

But, oh, if yet my humble rhyme have worth, 
To win a place upon the scroll of fame, 

'Mid those whose echoes ne'er are lost on earth, 
Perpetual glory shall attend thy name. 

Alice King. 



*• CCOTS-MIN ! Edinburry Courant ! Glasgy Herald !" 

^ Truly the land o* cakes is reached at last, as these melodious 
cries inform us. We stretched ourselves after the stiffening process of 
a night journey, enlivened by one brief and dazzling break when we 
were sleepiest ; a ten minutes' respite at a station where wide-awake 
young ladies preside over cups of coffee and other mixtures less 
approved by the Blue Ribbon Army, in brilliant gas-light ; and we 
drowsily swallow something, regarding these Hebes of the night as 
if they had been performing in one of the Christmas pantomimes of 
our youthful days, where even the brightest fairy became indistinct 
through the merciful mist of sleep. 

Tickets were an unremembered evil as we rolled into the station at 
Edinburgh, for the terrific responsibility of those bits of pasteboard 
had been taken off our minds some thirty miles away, and we were 
free to land with our traps, and partake of an " Express " breakfast at 
two shillings and sixpence. 

I was hailed by a cordial Scotch voice when half way through my 

"E-h, now, this is a good sight, Goring! You're going further 
North, of course ? " 
" Yes, presently. Fm only taking a pleasure mmble." 
"Then don't spoil it by sticking in Edinburgh, for the heat is 
unbearable, and our American cousins have filled the hotels, demo- 
ralised the waiters by large tips, and are now busy buying pieces of hot 
woollen tartan, and imaginary heraldic devices in silver, as trophies to 
take home. Come on to Blankshire to-day." 
" Let a fellow breathe, Christie ! " I pleaded. 
" You can't, if you stay here," persisted the energetic Scotchman ; 
" and it's only an hour or two more of misery, and you'll find yourself 
in a snug inn beside a loch that it almost cools one to remember." 

" I'm not so very hot," I ventured to remark, for the early morning 
air was fresh to a Londoner. 

" You're as obstinate as ever, I see," said Christie, complacently. 
My eyes were lifted in mild rebuke, for if during all my life I ever 
met a pig-headed fellow at an argument, my once fellow-student 
was the man. I was not sufficiently refreshed to argue with him then, 
however, so acquiesced in all his arrangements, and soon we were on 
our way to the iim and loch so appreciated by my friend. 

A day or two convinced me that we had hit upon a pleasant spot ; 
and the landlady of the inn, an active industrious body, looked after 
our bodily comfort to admiration. Christie had several times visited 
the inn, and agreed with all I could say in its praise. 

3i8 The Man from C . 

" It wasn't half as snug, though, until she came ! " he said one day. 
" The landlord wasn't much of a manager. He only married a few 
years ago, and a queer story it made, that wedding." 

Of course I asked for the story, there being nothing else to do till the 
hissing noise at the kitchen fire should result in the serving of our 

" Well, Donald was a confirmed bachelor, and might have been 
one now, but for the industrious perseverance of an old friend of his 

own, whom we will call the man from C . He never met Donald 

without pointing out how much better the inn would thrive if he gave 
It a mistress. Donald was a very silent man, and a good listener, but 

in reply to the invariable remark of the man from C * E-h, 

mon, ye should many ! ' Donald never said more than a careless 
* Ou-aye.' 

" At last, however, the stone began to show signs of being worn 
away with perpetual dropping, and Donald cautiously relented. 

" ' If I'm to get married, then, ye'U just hae to find a wife for me !' 

" * Ah, noo ! That I'll do, and gladly ! ' said the man from C » 

" A few weeks later he, returned from a place some twenty miles 
away, and hailed Donald with a zeal that couldn't have been wanner 
if he had been securing a partner for himself. 

" * Noo, Donald, I've just found the very wummin for ye ! * Donald 
puffed silently at his pipe, and looked stohdly across the loch in front 

" * Ye'U come over and see her on Thursday. I'm gaein' mysd'^ 
that day.' 

" * Na,' said Donald in a determined voice, * I'll no come to see her! 
but ye can ask her if she'll marry me.' 

" The man from C was aghast, and tried in vain to alter 

Donald's resolution ; the landlord knew his own mind, and con- 
tinued. * Ye'U ask her if she'll hae me, and if she says yes ye'll just 
ask her when, and when it's sattled I'll go and get married, and 
that's a' aboot it.' 

" Accordingly the devoted friend procured the bride's consent, and 
on the day appointed Donald went over, and the ceremony proceeded 
When it was ended, he turned to the man from C ^ who had pre- 
sided like a benevolent fairy at the scene, and said, ' I dunna like 
the wummin at aM ' 

'* In horror the friend clutched his arm, and with a hushed and pro- 
longed * E ^h ! ' endeavoured to smooth matters, the bride, let os 

hope, not hearing. 

" * I'm sure she's a very nice wummin, Donald.' 

" ' I dunna like her,' said the relentless bridegroom. 

" * It's no right o' ye to say sic things, Donald ! Ye'll just gae awa' 
wi' your wife, noo 

" * Then ye must come awa too ! ' said Donald, in a determined 
voice ; and the man from C met his required fete." 

The Man from C . 319* 

"Good heavens ! said I, as the story ended, "aren't they miser- 

" Not a bit She manages Donald, and the house ; keeps tipsy 
customers in bounds and good order, and always has the house full. 
It's better than a love-match, I assure you ; and the man from 
C congratulates himself and Donald every time they meet" 

Our dinner was served piping hot by the heroine of the tale, and 

was so good, I began to think of asking the man from C to find 

a wife for me too. 

A few days later my friend Christie had occasion to call at a tiny 
stone-built cottage, just a " bu,t and a ben," he explained to me, to 
ask an old woman there for a fishing net she had in hand for him. I 
accompanied him, and the door was opened to us by a very frail-look- 
ing little woman, some seventy years of age. She looked much 
disturbed in her mind, and when Jack Christie asked if his net was 
done, she shook her head. 

" Indeed, Mr. Christie, I'm fashed so with them in there," pointing 
to a small locked door which communicated with another little house,, 
as much like her own as irregular old cottages ever are, " I canna get 
my wark done." 

"What ! aren't they at peace yet, Granny?" 

" Na, nor ever will be in this world," said the old woman solemnly. 
"And it's hard telling what may happen after ; but," added she, with a 
firm and vicious snap of her old mouth, "^// gae to the place 
appointed for him ! " 

What this place was so plainly revealed itself to the hearers that I 
turned away to hide a smile at this refined way of putting it 

"Well, let me have the net as soon as you can, Granny. I'll be 
passing by again soon." 

When we were walking on again, Christie said : 

" That's an old character ! Her daughter's matrimonial bickers and 
'dustings,' as she calls them, are the plague of her life. They live in 
the next cottage, and when there's a row they try to get through to 
her by that small door which she keeps religiously locked since some 
events which happened a few months ago." 

" I say, Christie, you're a sort of private * Matrimonial News ! ' 
Where do you get your stories ? " 

" I have an expression of much solid wisdom, as you have no doubt 
observed, and it invites confidence. I must tell you, however, the tale 
of Bob and Bet, as I had it from Bet's mother. These two fools 
made a love-match, and by the time their first child was four months 
old they ' dusted ' so continually that the situation brought about a 
crisis. Bob is a bricklayer, and his daily return from work was greeted 
by not only words but blows, from his termagant wife. In vain he 
urged her to leave him, and let him get someone to mind the child — 
in vain he endeavoured to persuade her to peace. At last he said : 

" * Weel, gang yer ain gait, and 111 gae mine.' 

320 The Man from C . 

" The fury watched him as he put together his clothes and tied them 
in a bundle, sneering at him all the time. When he had his bundle 
safe in one hand, he picked up the four months' old baby in the other, 
and marched forth. Then was Bet's turn to quake ! She could not 
get the child, for the big man held it high, and went away to his 
mother, a mile of. Bet burst into her mother's cottage, in scream- 
ing grie£ 

" ' He's gane, mither, he's gane, and I maun just get awa to Mai*garet 
Dewar's and bide the nicht' 

" Now Margaret Dewar was the scandal-lover and mischief-maker 
of the place, and old Granny was wiser than some mothers. 

" * Ye'U do nothing of the kind, Bet ! Ye'U just bide in yer ain house, 
and keep still.' 

" * But my bairn, my bairn ! I canna live without my bairn.* 

" * Bide ye still. Bet TuUoch ! Ye'U sune hae yer bairn again ! ' said 
her mother, with the shrewdest wisdom and contempt 

" Next morning Bob's mother arrived humbly at Granny's door carry- 
ing the baby, who had screamed unmercifully all night, and reduced its 
father to ashes in his humiliating ignorance of how to manage it ! 
Bob loafed about for a day or two, and then came home to be jeered 
at the more. Now they fight equally, and his blows to Bet make 
Granny think him a brute." 

" That's why she has settled his * appointed place ' for him," said L 

" Yes, and that is how so many romantic marriages end," observed 
Christie, with a solemn nod. 

" Upon my word, it seems a pity that some wise and astute agent 

like the * Man from C ^,' who knows people's wants better than 

they do themselves, should not be appointed in every parish in Scot- 
land," remarked I. " He's a valuable fellow, and I should like to 
make his acquaintance." 

" There's one other thing better," said Jack Christie, shrewdly : 
" and that is not to marry at all." 

Minnie Douglas. 



Fbr Thickening Soups. Gravies, 
Broth, Idquor from Boiled Meats. 


HiaHLT KUTBinons. 

Sold I'm Patlitts and Tim. 

Bowdan Steam MiUa, Market Harborongh. 

SA VE 30 per Cent, by IHrect Trading I 

.^i%p,zi CALICOES 

Wrili lo Th« aOPWOCD Hunnatuiu Co.. PrtHcta Mills, Hapiraod, 
KaBgliHMT, wIk will tmd. Post ftLtK/PatUtHi and Prica of IIu>- 
dnluratad UlMOOLOTHB ta d TWg J.BD BmBTTKOS, blMOhM ud 

Goodall's H ousehold Specialities. 


The most Delicious Sauce in the World, 

Makd the daintiest Dishes more delicious. 
Bottles, ed., 1b., and 3b. each. 


The only substitute for Eggs yet discovered. 

One Siipenny Tin will go as far as Twenty Eggs. 
Sold in Id. Packets : ed. and 1b. Tins. 


Makes Belicious Custards without Eggs, and at SaZf-price. 

In Boxes, ed. and Is. each. 

Proprietors: 600DALL, BACKHOUSE & CO.. Ueds. 

For 100 excellent and palatable HOUSEHOLD RECIPES 

Write to GOOBALL, BACKMOVSE <£ CO., Leeds, 

Enclosing a Feiuif Stamp [or postage, when yoa nill be presented with a valuable book 
of too pages, bound in doth, and follv illustraled, called, "OOOD THINOS," MADE, SAID, 
AND Done, for Every Home and Household. 






JAMES EFPS & CO., Homoeopathic Chemists. 

Pears' Soap 

Recommended (in the Journal of Cutaneous^ 
Medicine) by Prof. SIR ERASMUS WILSON, 
IJI1.D., F.R.S., President of the Royal College 
of Surgeons, Eng. 

Have met with genera] tppcotuti 
■mooLhl^ fti ft IttftiipdQci], '" ' --'-^ 

Six Pclia Ueda]ift?nril«l. 
Siipenaj Assarled Sampla 

by H Dew proceia. 


Price.! 7/0 " 5/- P"'^ 



I 44. Lord Street, UVEBWOL _ 

i "The Clean Black Lead."— Vide ftBi_ 

1 " OlTN B mliTOT-llka mrfi 

I gliBLnllnWM ftad »ojnonij aj 

AIiFRBS BIBS k BOMS, Blrmlsglum. will leiid, 

En'.rgeir Edition of ''PiflTRT "akD sVbetS ,'■ a 
little work conlftinlng Pialllcml Kinll aD<J Originftl 
Rmipei for Tulf OuhM f« the DiDoar ftndSupper 

mi^n oi^ki-an^Ei. 



Mst known Cure (or Toolt 

or Toothache, m Te- 

xAy'acA la irv Banters I 
lostdipcl. ThoSrslapp. 

BUNTEH'S NERVIBE is the instant Cure for Toothache, m Teslimanials. 
" " " ' '" ' ' . -. . y Banters K«rTUMi. ThccSeci 


lalKiitedlf <lt 

L ma 1o makD Ibia known lo you belue 1 f it- 
C. F.,GordoD-CaniDiiii|, ui "A U(l;'i Ral- 


ache tiam foar lo five drops of BnflWrt MWirlH, 
Uken upon a lump ol wbire eugar.*' 

Fr'jm I. F. C. M*Fit>LtHe, Esq., Albion Hold, 
Linrpodl. Feb.. 18S4.— " On my paasKKe from New 
York tolhii cmimry a few d.y> igo, I suffered in- ■' Af aiwillaii'i Mogoiiw." F*6., 1S&4. 
(ansa pain from a Acciyed tootfa. My first acl on ) 

BUJSTEWS NEltriNE, of all Ch emJets, In. l\a. and an. Od. 


HiEhHt Award, FUladelpUU, 1816. OolS Medal, Barlln. ISn. 

HlghuC AwBid kud OBl? Hsd^ PbtIi £xhlUtlOD, 1878. 

Slghost A«m4, HallKnirtta, IBBl. Blghnt Avud and onlf Hedal, Fr&nklait, 1881. 

Blgbait Awtid and 011I7 Hsdml, AmJterdami 1883. 

Pul on bi ^onge altacbed to Wire and Cork ia eacti BolIl«. No Polishing Brush 

required. Dries m a few oilDulei, Can be used by sny Ladrwilbout soiling ber Sngei^ 

The Satih Polish is IM most Eleganl Article of tbe kind ever pioduced. Ladies' 

Shoawliichbave become Kcd and Rouih by wealing are restored 10 their Original Colour 

and Luaire, and will not aoil ilw skirts when wet. Tarnished Patent Leather ii improved by 

it. For Travelling Bags. Trunks, Harness, Carriage Tops, Ac, il is imeqiuUed. It wnl 

■""""' American" mTqio bronze 

Is Ihe Best in Ihe Market, and it can be used with good effect on Ornameals. Picture 
Fcaincs, Iron and Fancy Work generally, as well ai for BooU and Shoes. 

KM by aU WHnlciaU Ho<4m ud aU fira^tats BkI and Shse Slorts axdClitmuls 


strengthens the Hair of children and adults ; coQlams no lead 
nor mineral ingredients ; sold in Golden Colour Eitso ; usual 
sizes 3/6; 7/6: 10/6; and 2r/. Avoid spurious imitations. 
Sold everj/tvhere. 


is a fragrant Toilet Powder, in white, roke, and cream. 






D'dl FEm C«(r uid UTAW per 
4jr, urrtiie pAid. to kllputi 



' Six Fwt by TtiTH 

Ic Lilirary WarU, u 







utoua..; j^^^ CHAMBERLAIN, 
DrMt kBd Plumal WmnlioaH, Strttlord Boail, 



(ha cloihu m&de buuiifDllr tw«i, wbolejonK, 

H^pinOH'S BXIKAOT OF SOAP. ■voiJlDg''a]f 
tiik of coDUgioa witb lalecied clolbing at Laun- 

I [ayini of ihe cloUi», a* bird rubbing, tciub* 
>iiii;, brutiing, or HriiDini ii unn«c«UTy. No 
I lOiiiDg of ibc cloihH u wben btucblng cheml- 



■ Kot-wnttr Sup. UonvJled u"* "urif^oK 
agenl. So« niryt'i"'. in Packsli. One Penny 

_ Cenui 

^1^5^ Economical 




<l>, (^n 


rnmp In ths StomacG, toUc, D|. 
-<>■<»■, uid Cbolara Infuitum. PAIN 
KILLER la ih* (ruiut Hounbold Uidi- 
clna, and tSordi nliaf not to ba obiaiiMd br 
atharnim«l<«. ItturmooliMtha NerToumua 
ClrcoUtiac Snlasu of ih* Bod*, diinb tba 
■rony at Tain, rtvaa RBST, sLbbi', COM- 
KORT, QUIETUDE. Ii la ■ poiali liS- 
Ubl. KiaadT for laUmil tod EiMrul 3«, 
ud U tinyt ptrUctlj u/. b th* fauda eC Bnn 
lta>iiioillnaiM.isDcad panoitt. K mMnedai 
ihe Did of dugeroui Nueoiic uid AnadTni 
Rani«liM. Anj chemiit cu aapplr it a4 1«. iM. 


f SwdalAdvics 
I "Thii UtUa pampoisl ap- 
I pulijbmNji la iboa« who 
■ hin ullowsd tbs pilata 
I to dscida unrTthlnc tot 
I Ibeni, and bars paid Ifag 
I knaviKUa penalty of ibsii 
I ibUr-"— C)d»*. Sani (or 
I lUamp. I.U.RICHAtlDS 
I PobUdiBr, 40, Holbom 
* Tladna. toBdon. 'R.C. 


TRIUUPH OP SCIENCE^-Owmlltrr aent 

acbieved a mora decided triamph Iban in (be 
prodaAionofaOZODOMTV which ii a botanical 
preparation of woddiona efficacy in Presarvinf 
and BeaDlifylni Iha Teeth, reaeulng Itism from 
dMay, and leadetinc Ibem u Wbita aa Alabailer. 
It ii a Teilel LaiuTT of which all ahcald anil 
thsmielTai. Tha unpleasant odour coramiiai- 
catad la Iha braatb 1^ (Catarrh, Bad Taeth. Ac., 
n eatiralTufaiVialed bTtbaPra(r«ilud Salulaiy 
■nilaaptic BOZODONT. of wbkta one bottle 
laita a hnc time. Price aa. Od. EMdaTefrwhera, 
Depot, 46,lls1bam«, LoDdon. tC. 



(allow-aaHerai from Auhoia. wa bad aarl] 

gnalMt Boulble rallef. Some Tear* an I Bw 

It to Dr. Moirall klackenila.of LandoD.«b(ibu 

finnd It ot loealimaUa *alua to anfevi fr« 

paiafol malady bara. 1 h*» triad mn 

dreTerlnaaiiad.aDd HIHROD'S CUU 

ia the nnly ona Id iriiicb 

Bdene*." It ia Imporunl to DDaarn uui no- 

ROD'S CURB «B* amphned ondar iba bi^ 

madicalaanaioDln tba caaeof the late EAlIor 


DIractlana for U*a:-ASTHllA,-BBii i 
tulf-teaapoonlDl upon a plate, or in Iba niTfr of 
tta boi, Dt«« the famai mil inn Ibthao 
Ibroiub Iba mouth, retaminf ihem aa Ijoa it 
paaalbia, ud alkmliNi ibam la eacana ibDub 
Iba nostrila. InaaTeraparoiTiDiaBiatbeCUU 
balf^bonrly. HIIIRoB!s(<URB.«iT..t». 
°i BTLf "?; '5 ^, J°J"* "■ RICHAIDE, 
it, H olbom Via dnft. L mdoa. K.C. 


enu of taia life br lb 



>ina a Pare aad Bltaalf 

Canplriloa, R«tani •» 

PrMrma ToaUir^l BeHty. It* t>M< an 
GrmdaaL Hataral, ud FtrfMt. It nHm 
Blstrbea, Pliaplaa, Tan. BaBbaiB, ud PncUA 
and aakraa Lady of TbIrUaHfarbairimli- 
and Fnriy, aid lapuU a Praah ■Maanwt I* 
tbe CoanUaaart. lusu'a Inalb Mte M 
bHB Eatabltabad ufariy 40 tmn. Mm^ 


PerhniFn,ud8loi«i,orMall*ur i^S*" 
•B nnlpt of ta. <d. DHat, 1, Wtm ■>■• 

-— '" i.e. 


Messrs. Jkvons Bros., the Proprietors of Parkeb' Patent 
Coiipouim Magnets, find it necessary to inform the public that 
the extremely low price at which these Magnets are advertised 
is not a meie lure to induce persons to enter into correspondence 
and thereupon to inveigle them into purchasing more expensive 
articles. Although the highest priced Magnet manufactured by 
Messrs. Jevons is only 5/6^ it may be generally taken for granted 
that, except in cases of extreme debility, one, or at the most two 
Magnets, and ihese not necessarily the most expensive, will sufBce. 
In certain affections of long standing, a Belt, a Chest Strengtheneri 
a Spinal Reviver, or other Special Appliance may be required: 
when but a nominal charge is made over and above the advertised 
co&t of the Magnets employed in the Appliance. For example — 
the Goliath Belt at 17/6 contains 2 Magnets at 5/6 each, and 
2 Magnets at 1/8 each,-^14/- worth of Magnets in all, . allowing 
3/6 for material and making up Belt to measure. Each ' Magnet 
is in itself a complete Appliance, and can be attached by a stitch 
to the clothing over any portion of the body. 

The discovery of the Compound Principle (which has been 
protected by Royal L<>tters Patent) brings the curative properties 
of Electricity in its highest form within reach of alL 

" Messrs. Jevoks invite correspondence, or will send their 
Pamphlet entitled "Electric Life and how to nKp it," free 
to iny address. 

Offices: 166. FLEEO? STBEET, LONDON, E.G. 


The following Extracts represent the yery giatifying and spontaneoas 
tefftimxny of large numbers of letters received by Messrs, Jevoitb, the Proprietors, 
daring the past few months. The originals of these and many others of simitar 
character can be inspected at any time at their 01 ices — 166, Ft«eet Stbcxt, 
London, E.G. 

A lady writes : " Please to send me a comylete set of Parhee^ Patent 
Compound- Mafmetf. I wish to have them by me, because I have seen the ffood 
effect produced by them^" 

Another says : " For years I have been from the ijfeets of 
enlarged liver and imperfect circulation of the blood, with a 
constant feeling of weariness, making a slight exertiofii of any kind, even 
walkina, veyy painful, I have wed many remedies, but without permanent bene^ 
until I tried you*- Magnet; and although I have orUy worn it for fourteen dayt, 
ft lias alreidv made a great change in my feelings. The sense of n:imbness in my 
liands and arm* with thf priching sensation is nearly gone; I can now walk with 
ease J and do not feel as tired on going to bed at night as I formerly d'd on rising 
in the morning, I sJuill be happy to give full particulars to any person suffering 
as I have done" 

From Coi*k : "J suffered for three years from irritation of tlie spine 
and nervousness, caused by a fall. Doctors could do me no good; bvU since 
wearing the magnet I have fully recovered my former health* I consider Parkes' 
Patent Compound-Magnet a boon to suffering humanity," 

From Darlington : " The Magnet has done my general health mtueh good,'" 

Fain disappears: "i have been snj^ering severely from BoiAtica /of 
severail months, especially at nights. Since using the Magnet the pain has 

A complete cure : " My teife never knew what it was to he without a 
cough from a child. She has taken no end of drugs for the same, but to no etOaiL 
Your Chest Strengthener has completely cured her, and her voice has very waeh 


A London Chemist says: *' A medical man, well known in this 
nelghbottrhood, recently bought a Belt from me, fitted with Parkes' Patent Compomd- 
Magnets, for his wife. She has derived so much benefit from it tJiat she is 
recommending the Magnets to all her friends, I am making constant ealetm 

Magnets, ^ j j, , — .-. ^^. ^«««^,^,j,^», „.*;,,.. w« ^^ ««« •« 

this ease; and she therefore applied them to both arms and legs. The remU wm 
an immediate disappearance of th*.fidgetty sensations, and much needed r^firtaMstg 
sleep. She fuu had no return of the trouble, I am more than ever satisfied of tkt 
value of the Magnets, which in future we shall always have by tit**' 

*' With feelings of gratitude 1 bear testimony to the great ^glfom «f 
Parkes* Patent Magnet, My little girl was suffering for some yeetr$ wi& 
8t. Vitus' dance, and was a source of great amciety to myself Mi kgt 
fatlier; but I am thankful to say that from the tim* she began to wear theitigttde 
site has steadily improved. There are no signs of the old complaint* leg^tm it 
one of the greatest blessings / have cxperiewed for years-- it has TtHeudwm'fttHi 
and cured my child," ^ ^^* 

Pampblet/ JCiJLilliV/ A tl.iV^ JjlAJr JCiitofindit." 

Sent post free by Jsvons Brob., 106, Fleet Street> London, E.C., 

Proprietors of 


which by their pecoHar construction are intensely powerful, and readily relieve 
Neuralgia, Rheumatism, Debility, Blood and Nerve AfCections. 

Xhcy supersede the constant use of injurious dru^ or dangerougfpilvxnic curr«.nt8, 

and are authoritatively pronoun^d to be 


The Magnets are made in five convenient forms : 

No, 1* — ^To use as Armle*, Necklet, Garter, &o, .. •• . .. Pripe ls.Od. 

No. 2. — Pad for appKcatfon to Face or Head, <ftc. „ U.6d. 

No. 8.— For Rheumatism, Sciatica, "Nervousness, 'd'<S. ' .. .. „ 2s.6c[. 

A Bet of Nob. 1, 2, and S, with testing Compass and Pamphlet, post free 

from the Proprietors k „ 68.0d. 

No. 4. — Pad of extra power for Chronic Neuralg:a, &o „ 3s.0d. 

No. 5. — For Chronic Bheumatism, Spinal Weakness, Palpitation, 

Lumbago, Ac ; ' „ 58.6d. 

A Set of Ko8. 3, 4, and 5, with testing Compass and Pamphtet, post free 

from the Proprietors .. \. „ lls.Od. 

These Magnets are covered and fitted so that they can be easily attached to 
and worn with the ordinary clothing, causing nd inconvenience, unsightlincss, 
or discoiofort. If desired of unusual power, and ready made up, for use in cases of 
Indigestion, Organic Weakness, Constitutional Debility, Paralysis, Nervous Pros- 
tration, Gout, <fcc., the following special Prerpaired ApplianceB are recommended : 

ThbSpinalRevixeb .. .. .. .. !?• 8/6, . extr^ power 14/- 

TbS CbWST BTBtHQTHENEII .• 9/-, „ ,< * 15/6 

Th« GoLUTH Bklt (to measure) 12/-, „ - „ 17/6 

The Abdominal Belt, made to order, avoiding support and great comfort, 

fitted with the most powerful of Parkes' Patent Compound-Magnets 30/- 

Anw-Bhbcmatic Knek Cap (made to measure) 7/6 

Oabtkb, Akklbt, Abmlet, Bbacelet, or Nkcklbt . . . . • . . . 2/6 

Sent post fre« q& receipt of Postal Order for the amount, payable to the 
Proprietors : Jevoss Bros., 166, Fleet Street, London, E.C, or may be ordered 
through 9^ Gheixiist. 


. , , CPABKflS' PATENT.) - ^ 

'• -'Rbi' »iu»ai1Sagium <>xidr ff Iron hM 1)C«n toAf Nnowa ti (be H«dicU 
PnteadDD ■■ veil h to tbe Scunttit. It i« desoribed b; writen oo MBUUnrsr 
M boing " itronglf tttncled b; the Uagnel," and M possMidiig "indepeodeDl 
poluitj." But hitherto, when ued u mediciiM in ft diwolved itato, iti 
magnatia prapartj hu been icitnfed. 

To obriAt* this, a tpecial pTtparatUjn of the Oxide Tiu been made, in wbieh 
iti magneUe'iiftaf U nta{|u4>1 ^^ <rfa|c)l wilt ,tbnq b« tpoii^ tq materially awit 
the oDlward application of Uagnetimi, in the relict of all diaorden ol the Blood 
and Nerrei. For eoDTanienoe of adminiBtration it ii made np into imall 
"PtatU," Tbi GiKcim dhuacteb or iutf% PkUu kit bb cbptbd' kt i 


It will be readily nndentood thereFore, (hat the ivttnal use al Ihia mnedy— 
by entering and vitaliaiog the blood- -urill powerfully aseist the txtemal aoUon 
ot Farkea' Patent CompoDnd-MagDetB in effecting a aure. 

.. TheM Fearla may be .taken ipr a uneid^t^Ie tUne with graai hemefit, aa 
the; poaseaa the tnie oharapter ol " Blood Food," are moil tatily awiimilated, 
and. do nol oet fn/vrioiu^ (like ordinary mediucM) either by nl&iiiig « 
constipating the bowels. 


CiDTiOB. Bacb Bos 

, None are genttine . gives directions, 

nnleu the; bear and is also »o- 

Gii Registered cotnpanled by 

Mark, aa weU as -A But Tmnma 

the Oovenunent Uumbt bea al 

Btamp. ' , , charge. 


. ' PRICE 'i/ii c^nd 219 PMB BOX,, 

01 all Chemists, or Bent post free on receipt ol reinittaiK^ hf the' 









FbU Music Six«; on good Paper; ^irictlj Cornet. 

S.. Sang; S. S„ Sacrtd Song ; P.F., Pumo/ort* Puct, 

CS.t Comic Song. 

Is there room for Mary? 

Iohn Barleycorn, s. 
ohn Peel, s. 
.ittle Sweetheart, s. 
Lost Child, t. 
Lost Chord, i. 
Lancers Quadrilles. 
Love at Home, 4. 
Masher's Lament, c, t. 
Maid of Athens, s. 
Maiden's Prayer, t. 9tp. /. 
Mountain Belle, Schot. 
Men of Harlech, t, 
Mmstrel Boy, s. 

A Boy's Best Friend is has 

Mother, s. . 
Ah, he Kissed me, s. 
As Pants the Hart. *. s. 
Anchor's Weighed, s. 
Bad Boy's Dlarr. c. ». 
Blue Danobe Walts,/. /. 
Bluebells of Scotland,^./. 
BeUe Mahone, s. 
Baby Mine. t. 
Beggars All, e, 
Bonnie Dundee, s. 
Bridge. The, s.^ 
Bsinks of AHan Water, s. 
Caller Herring, s. 
Cork Leg, s. 
Cherry KJpe. s. 
Chiming Bells, s. ^ 
Clouds arc Rolling by, i. 
Chilly Man, ». , .,, 
Caleooaian Quadnlles,^./. 
Cuckoo Song (Emmett). 
Corricolo Galop, p. /. 
Don't (New Comic Sonjj), 
Down oy the Riverside, s. 
Death oi Cock Robin, i. 
Death of Nelson, s. 
Doctrinen Walts, p,f. 
Empty Cradle, t. 
Ecoutez Moi,/./. , ^ 
England is still at the Top 

otthe TreeCE. V. Page). 
Farewell, Nell (Sung by 

Nellie L'Estrange). 
Fairy Wedding Waltx, p.f. 
Far Away, », 
Fire in the Crate, 5. 
First Violet, ». 
Gipsy's Wammg,s. 
Good Old Jeff, s. 
Guardian Angel, s. 
Grandfather's Clock, s. 
Gloria, from 22th Mass. 

K" rie, from lath Mass. 
arts of Oak, <. 
Home once more, s. 
Hiithland Schottische. 
Happy Married Life, c. s. 

(sung by Fred. Laurie) 
Harmonious Blacksmith. 
Hold the Fort, s. i. ip.f. 
Hungry Army, s. 
Huntingtower, 5. 
Home. Sweet Home, s. 
Irish Schoolmaster, s. 
I know that my Redeemer, 

s. s. 
I want to Meet a Good 

Young Man, c. s. 
Also just added, Four New Songs by JOHN RbAD, 

Author of "Give my Love to Naucy," &c. 
The Fusee Boy, s. I Von Mr. I ones, c. s. 

Good-bye, Mary Jane, s. | Poor Orphan Boy, s. 

And 2,000 others, all at Twopemce kach, ko 
Cmaxgs for Postacb. Complete Catalogues, id, 
(with 4s. Song free). See below. 

X33, Clbrkbnwell Road, Lomdoh, E.C. 

GIVEN AWAY.— The Lohdom 
Musical Aqbncy, 132, Clerken- 
well Road, E.C, will forward 
absolutely fret, one 45. Song, full 
r reader who encloses lhi« anver- 
'euny Stamp fur the Catalogue of 

Musical Box, p. /. 
Nobody's Darling, t 
NiggerS Wedding, c. s. 
OirKing Cole, s. 
Oh. dem Golden Slippers. 
Only a Pansy Blossom, s. 
Oh, gently Breathe, i. 
Peek a Boo, %. 
Pilot, $. 

Poor Old Joe, s. 
Ruth, s. I. 

Rainbow Schottische. 
Robin Adair, t. 
Rats' Quadrille. 
Sweet violets, s. 
Somebody Whispered. 
Stephanie Gavotte, p. /. 
Still I Love Thee. s. 
Silver Threads, s. 
Sweet Kiss Polka,/. /. 
Silvery Waves, ^./. easy. 
Sir Roger de Coverley. 
Signal March, p. f. 
Strangers Yet, s. 
Truth, Truth, Truth, c. ». 
Those Evening Bells, s. 
Tom Bowling, $. 
Turkish March, p, /. 
Tout & la J oie Polka. 
They Like It, Ladies, c. s. 
Thorn, s. 

Tell me. my Heart. 
Under the Umbrella, c. s. 
Untaated Swcets,childten 
Veteran (bass),s. 
Village Blacksmith, s. 
Vacant Chair, 5. 
Vicar of Bray, 5. 
Vital Spark, s. s. 
Wolf, s. 

Wedding March. ^./. 
Weber's Last Waits. 
White Squall, s. 
Wait till the Clouds roll by 
I Welkommen Gavotte, p.f. 


music sixe, to every 
tiseioeut and One ri 
Cueap Music. 


A Startling Bargain. 




Every Card guaranteed to be a perfect 
specimen of Artistic skill, being some of the 
choicest productions of the present season, 
No cheap rubbish kept in stock ; our readers 
may therefore rely with every confidence in 
my supplying Cards strictly in accordance 
with this Advertisement. 


Packets of my Cards were sold last season, 
and every purchaser was surprised and 
satisfied beyond expression with the lovely 
Cards which were sent them. 

To give our readers some idea as to the 
extent of my Stock of Cards for the present 
Season, they will possibly be astonished to 
read that the weight alone is about 


and the cost upwards of 


A/i Orders should be smt at ome. Early 
purchasers obtain the best Cards. 

Note the price. FOURTEEN STAMPS. 
I HAVE No Agents. 


8, Clarendon Terrace. PLYMOUTH. 



CatcUogue of everip 
requisite^ with OOO 
lUustrations, free for 
Six Stamps* 

^TTf T^ 

•^,r> >•>,, 



Goldie, Settle, Yorke.